Would Celtics Trade Kyrie Irving? Mike Gorman Not Ruling Out Anything

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Mike Gorman has been around the Boston Celtics long enough to know Danny Ainge is about as unpredictable as it gets. Therefore, he’s not ready to rule out anything as the Celtics head into their offseason after being eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.

The longtime Celtics play-by-play man joined CLNS Media Network’s Celtics Beat Podcast this week, touching on a number of topics, including the idea Boston could trade Kyrie Irving on the heels of a deep playoff run without the injured point guard.

Gorman doesn’t expect the Celtics to trade Irving this summer, one year before the five-time All-Star can opt out of his current contract. He did suggest, though, this is a big season for Irving and that Ainge could explore any number of things as Boston’s president of basketball operations.

?Certainly if you?re going to trade Kyrie, you get excited about there?s a whole lot coming back,? Gorman said. ?Danny doesn?t like to put the ‘untouchable’ label on anybody. I do think (Jayson) Tatum is untouchable myself. I think it would take some unbelievable offer to get him away from Boston right now. But I think everybody else is probably in play to some degree.

?Again, if you?re talking about the big guy from New Orleans (Anthony Davis), then you?re going to have to be talking about a really, really good player to go back the other way. And that?s the only other player that I know of that the Celtics really would put everybody on the table for. And I don’t think he’s going to leave New Orleans, so I think that’s a moot point. But Danny has a way of sometimes making things happen that don’t look like they’re going to happen.”

A season-ending knee injury limited Irving to 60 games, which was a huge blow to the Celtics, but they somehow battled through the adversity to come within one win of reaching the NBA Finals.

This caused some to wonder whether the Celtics could consider trading Irving and/or Gordon Hayward, who suffered his own season-ending injury on opening night. The more likely scenario is Irving returns as Boston’s starting point guard next season, at which point the Celtics will be among the favorites in the Eastern Conference with the 26-year-old looking to prove he’s worthy of a max contract despite his injury history.

?I think Kyrie?s record over the course of his career would tell you that injuries have been a problem,? Gorman said. ?I think you have to be smart here and look at what the facts are and understand that they may be a problem going forward, too.?

?You?d like to see Kyrie, hopefully in a contract year next year, to have the season of his career,” he added. “I think the big measurement for Kyrie going forward is how many games can you reasonably get out of him.?

A max contract with the Celtics once seemed like a foregone conclusion for Irving, who Boston acquired from Cleveland last offseason in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick. Now, it’s fair to wonder what the future holds.

Asked whether he expects Irving to remain with the Celtics long-term, Gorman replied, “I don’t think it’s a given either way.”

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