Latest On Kyrie Irving

With less than one month until he reaches free agency, the Kyrie Irving rumor mill continues to grow more active. Speaking today to reporters, including A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link), Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that neither Irving nor his camp has informed the team that the point guard doesn’t want to return next season.

According to Jay King of The Athletic (via Twitter), Ainge went on to say that while he can’t offer a concrete update on Irving’s future, there are ongoing conversations happening with his camp. Ainge added that he’s unsure if certain roster moves would make the Celtics more attractive to Kyrie.

While Ainge isn’t ringing the alarm on the possibility of Irving leaving the Celtics as a free agent, several reporters have been doing so. Ian Begley of wrote today that people around Kyrie “have described the probability of him returning to Boston as a free agent as low.” Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders recently conveyed a similar sentiment, tweeting that he’d heard from about a dozen people around the Celtics that they believe Irving will leave. Jeff Goodman of Stadium (link via NBC Sports Boston) said he’d be surprised if Irving re-signs with the C’s.

Meanwhile, TV and radio hosts like Stephen A. Smith and Colin Cowherd have been suggesting this week that the Nets have emerged as the frontrunners for Irving. Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher (link via NBC Sports Boston) recently identified the Nets and Lakers as the best bets to sign Kyrie, but there have been mixed reports on how seriously we should take the Lakers in the Irving sweepstakes.

The Knicks, of course, have long been rumored as a potential Irving destination, though they haven’t been the subject of as much Kyrie buzz lately. Still, sources tell Begley that those around Kyrie say he hasn’t ruled out any teams at this point, including the Knicks.

With Irving’s free agency still several weeks away, it’s hard to draw any definitive conclusions yet, but if the All-Star point guard is leaning toward leaving Boston, it would have a significant impact on multiple teams’ offseasons.

The Celtics, for instance, are considered a leading contender in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. If they’re worried about losing Irving, they could pursue a Davis trade more aggressively prior to free agency in an attempt to change Kyrie’s mind — or they could become more reluctant to trade for AD if they don’t believe Irving would stick around to play alongside him.

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18 thoughts on “Latest On Kyrie Irving

  1. ab3b29

    You don’t make a massive trade for AD with the hopes it’ll make Kyrie change his mind about leaving. If his heart isn’t into staying in Beantown, let him leave. I’m in the camp that they’d be better without him. More ball movement.

    • I don’t think the author was suggesting that they would actually complete an AD trade, and then hope that it might persuade KI to stay. No reason for that. As KI’s existing team (he’s not even a FA until he opts out), Boston can speak with him (directly) and (via the Pels) AD in real time prior to July.

  2. KI’s connections to the metro area run through the Knicks and MSG. Staying in Boston is one thing, that’s the default option for most guys and never a surprise. But if he leaves Boston to back to the NY area, and signs with the Nets over the Knicks, then it’s about as a clear a rebuke of the Stooges as one can imagine. Even I can’t believe they could be that inept. I don’t see how Mills can continue to run the organization.

    • Freddie Morales

      He grew up a Nets fan from what I have read. plus, look at the team, they are a star away from being legit contenders! sign KD and Kyrie and then you got a serious contender for the raptors even with Kawhi

      • phenomenalajs

        Absolutely right Freddie! He grew up in NJ when Jason Kidd led the Nets to two straight finals. MSG is not even the big dog for events in NYC anymore since a lot of acts are choosing the Barclays Center.

      • RootedInOakland

        Can’t sign KD and Kyrie while also resigning DLo tho, plus KD ain’t coming anyways so it’ll be a Kyrie and DLo led team if he chooses the Nets

        • imindless

          Which makes no sense because the have dinwiddle on a hefty contract and he and dlo play well together. A kyrie dlo backcourt would be pretty awful on d i think its one of the other for nets. Then either this year or next go grab an additional star to pair with him perhaps ad?

          • knickscavsfan

            Dinwiddle’s contract is far from hefty. He can be moved if need be. A KI and Dlo back court would be fun to watch.

        • OhThatYoGirl

          They can if they trade Crabbe to the Cavs for JR Smith then cut Smith immediately after.

      • brian214

        You say they are a star away from being legit contenders, then you say sign KD & Kyrie and you got serious contenders. Maybe they could trade some draft picks for AD and they’ll be guaranteed contenders.

    • True, he did grow up in north NJ. So did I, and went to CAA more than MSG, but it was hard to find a Nets’ fan (when they were playing the Knicks) even at CAA. The Nets home arena was filled with 80% Knick fans then, and it’s only slightly different today. It’s more than a larger fan base. The Knicks and MSG are a part of the NYC basketball culture that engulfs the NY Metro area, and KI is of and from that. All of which doesn’t mean he wants to play for a team controlled by the Stooges, and I wouldn’t argue with him if he didn’t.

      • x%sure

        Irving did already make the “bright lights” move, and if he’s moving again, then it didn’t work, and the “settle-in” choice must look better.

        I don’t see Dinwiddie interested in supporting an Irving-Russell backcourt though, and if he wants out then the Nets lose a lot of their glue and culture. The Nets rose without an alpha-dog leader IMO. I think they should drop Russell if Irving joins.

  3. jeremy

    A ball/Irving backcourt would be nice too see. And if they can use Ingram, Hart , mo and the pick for AD

  4. hoosierhysteria

    Kyrie will tell LBJ to shine his own shoes. He ain’t the little brother any more. NJ kid goes home.

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