- In October, superstar point guard Kyrie Irving indicated that he wanted to remain with the Boston Celtics beyond his impending free agency.
- With the New York Knicks’ massive blockbuster trade of Kristaps Porzingis freeing up enough cap space for the team to acquire multiple superstars this summer, rumours are swirling about whether the West Orange, New Jersey, native intends to join his hometown team.
- When asked about his future in Boston on Friday, Irving seemed to pivot from his previous stance and told Newsday’s Barbara Barker he doesn’t “owe anyone s—.”
Kyrie Irving may be shipping out of Boston after all.
Just three months ago, Irving assured Celtics season ticket holders that he wanted to remain in Boston despite rumours that he would pack up for a different city when he reaches free agency during the summer. But now it’s looking more and more like the six-time All-Star will be looking for a new team come June.
When asked about his future in Boston Friday, Irving seemed to pivot from his previous stance.
“At the end of the day I’m going to do what’s best for me and my career,” Irving told Newsday’s Barbara Barker. “I don’t owe anyone shit.”
And when The Athletic’s Jay King asked about whether his mindset has changed, Irving responded: “Ask me July 1.”
Irving’s comments come less than 24 hours after the New York Knicks engaged in a blockbuster trade, dealing 7-foot-3 “unicorn” Kristaps Porzingis along with the massive contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., two future first-round picks, and a handful of expiring contracts. The deal allowed the Knicks to free up enough cap space to extend two max contracts this summer, right in time for Irving’s free agency.
When asked about what he thought of the trade, the West Orange, New Jersey, native seemed optimistic about his hometown team.
“I respect the Knicks organisation,” Irving said. “Obviously, they are making moves to position themselves for this upcoming summer. So I wish them the best.”
Both Irving and Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant have been linked to New York, and both players will be on the market this summer. While trading Porzingis has left the Knicks with very little to offer a marquee free agent, a dual-pitch to Irving and Durant to play together at Madison Square Garden could be enough to lure them to the Big Apple.
Currently, New York is in a tight race for the bottom of the NBA standings. The franchise is in the running to land one of the top picks in the 2019 NBA Draft which features enticing prospects such as Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. Landing one of Duke’s superstars would undoubtedly pad their pitch to big-name free agents this summer.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are looking to make a playoff run this spring despite the turbulence surrounding the team this season. If Boston can put the pieces together and make an impact this postseason, Irving may very well follow through on his October promise.
If not, expect New York to be on his short list.
- Read more:
- Halfway into the NBA season, the Celtics are still struggling and looking little like the team that was expected to dominate
- The Knicks are reportedly sending Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks in a blockbuster trade that appeared to materialise in minutes
- Duke’s Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett teamed up for a wild off-the-backboard alley-oop dunk
- 6 trades that make sense for an Anthony Davis blockbuster, ranked
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