Will he stay or will he go?
It’s a question that continues to surround Kyrie Irving’s future with the Celtics despite the point guard’s insistence he intends to re-sign with Boston after this season. Even Mike Gorman, play-by-play voice of the Celtics, isn’t completely convinced Irving will stick around upon hitting free agency.
“Am I 100 percent sure that he’s going to come back to Boston next year? No,” Gorman told Adam Kauffman recently on CLNS’ “Celtics Beat” podcast, per NBC Sports Boston.
So, where will Irving sign if he changes course and decides to leave Boston?
The Los Angeles Lakers have been floated as a possibility in recent days since Irving called former teammate LeBron James to apologize for how he acted as a young player with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But the New York Knicks have been linked to Irving more than any other team. Irving is from New Jersey, and the Knicks likely will have the salary cap space to dish out a max contract.
“Kyrie grew up around New York City,” Gorman said. “And I’m sure somewhere in the back of his mind, being ‘the guy’ with Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis on the New York Knicks might have been a dream (he had) when he fell asleep as a kid: not knowing who Davis and the other two people would be, but the fact that he would be a Knick.
“So, I just don’t think you can completely shut the door and say it’s a lock that he’s just not going to entertain any other offers from anywhere else and he’s just going to sign with the Celtics.”
In other words, Gorman is confident Irving will re-sign with the Celtics. But one can never be too sure. After all, whoever envisioned Irving demanding a trade from the Cavaliers in the summer of 2017 with Cleveland still running roughshod through the Eastern Conference?
The Celtics haven’t met expectations this season despite Irving and Gordon Hayward — both of whom suffered season-ending injuries last season — rejoining a team that fell one win short of reaching the NBA Finals in the 2017-18 campaign. And Irving has pointed out his teammates’ youth and lack of championship experience on several occasions, only heightening speculation about the 26-year-old’s long-term future.