Multiple teams that were said to have interest in pursuing Kyrie Irving this summer are having second thoughts, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald writes. Irving will undoubtedly land a max contract, though his list of suitors may not be as long as anticipated just months ago.
The pause on Irving is a byproduct of how he ended his campaign with the Celtics. Two clubs are telling people around the league that they will only go after the point guard if another marquee free agent says he wants to play with Irving. Bulpett writes that the main target for each of these franchises is a different player and one of the teams had concerns that ownership would overrule the front office and dictate an Irving pursuit, though those concerns have been alleviated.
The talk behind the scenes is all over the place. Bulpett heard months ago that a source within the Knicks‘ front office was convinced that Irving and Kevin Durant were coming to New York. However, the scribe hears from an NBA agent that Irving wants the Nets and Durant favors the Knicks, thus causing a dilemma in the duo teaming up. Someone within the Warriors‘ organization tells Bulpett that Irving and Durant definitely spoke about the possibility of joining forces and Bulpett hears from another source that the Brooklyn talk is just a smokescreen.
The Celtics continue to hold out hope that Irving will re-sign with the team. It was reported earlier in the week that the front office believed that trading for Anthony Davis would make Irving warm up to the idea of returning. Irving has a Nike commercial in which he has his number retired in Boston and the organization hopes that becomes reality.
Two summers ago when Irving demanded a trade from the Cavs, some front offices were told by his camp that he would not re-sign with them. Some executives got the feeling that Irving got exactly what he wanted with the trade to Boston.
“We were told that the team he wanted to go to was getting ready to trade for him,” one general manager tells Bulpett. “And that team was Boston. So the Celtics were where he wanted to go. He got what he wanted. Now here we are two years later. Crazy.”