Where will Kyrie Irving be at this point next summer?
The Celtics guard can opt out of his contract and hit free agency after the 2018-19 season, and since NBA fans refuse to live in the present, debate already has begun about whether he’ll stay in Boston or seek a new destination.
Irving himself has refused to commit either way. But the chances of the All-Star point guard sticking around may have increased slightly if we’re to believe a Thursday column from the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett, who reported Irving is “quite pleased with his Celtic surroundings and has been talking about the future here beyond 2018-19.”
Bulpett’s report, via a “source connected to (Irving),” comes a week after a report that the 26-year-old loves Boston and is very close with his teammates.
There’s plenty of reason for Irving to be excited about the present and future. He’ll finally have the chance to play with Gordon Hayward on a squad that’s currently favored to win the Eastern Conference. If Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown keep progressing, the C’s should be contending for championships for years to come.
Sources from both Boston and the San Antonio Spurs also told Bulpett the Celtics didn’t offer Irving in trade talks for Kawhi Leonard, so Danny Ainge and Co. clearly value his talent, as well.
Of course, there also are hints that Irving might skip town next summer. He reportedly wants to play with USA Basketball teammate Jimmy Butler in the near future, and several executives believe the N.J. native will consider the New York Knicks in free agency, per a recent report.
In that vein, three NBA agents told Bulpett they “fully expect” Irving to opt out and leave the Celtics next summer.
Which camp will be right? We’ll likely have to wait almost a year to find out.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images