The summer of 2018 has been full of surprises when it comes to NBA free agency, but it could ultimately pale in comparison to next summer with a number of superstars set to hit the market as unrestricted free agents.
Two stars who have the ability to be free agents are Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler. Each have player options in their contracts that can allow them to become UFAs in the summer of 2019.
Could Irving and Butler team up in the near future?
“A league source close to the situation told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that Kyrie Irving and former Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler are still trying to figure out a way to play together,” Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote Tuesday.
“Whether that means the Celtics try and acquire Butler this summer or the two simply wait a year, both opt out of their player options after the season, and join forces that way. Either way, the two former Team USA Basketball teammates are looking for a destination to build an elite backcourt, whether that’s in Celtics green or elsewhere in the East.”
The Celtics don’t really have a need for Butler because they already are loaded on the wing with Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris, among others.
It’s also likely Butler commands a max contract when he signs his next deal, and the Celtics already have three max players in Irving, Hayward and Horford. Brown and Tatum could be in line for massive extensions two or three years down the road, too.
Butler certainly is an elite player worthy of a max deal, but Brown and Tatum both project to be as good or better than the T-Wolves star, and Boston’s young duo still has multiple seasons left of small rookie contract pay.
It makes more sense for the Celtics to stay away from Butler, but you really can’t rule anything out when it comes to NBA free agency.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports