So, what’s Kyrie Irving’s deal?
The Boston Celtics star guard can opt out of his contract and become a free agent at season’s end, but he publically committed to re-signing with the Green in the offseason once he can sign a max deal on July 1. Irving has backed off his commitment in recent weeks, though, as rumors around his frustration with the team, his healed relationship with LeBron James and Boston’s pursuit of a trade for Anthony Davis have swirled around the surging Celtics.
As Irving balks at his promise to re-up with the C’s, whispers of the possibility he’ll bolt Boston to play in New York or Los Angeles have begun to leak, and some believe the 26-year-old is ticked at Boston’s intense desire to acquire Davis, seeing it as a shot at his ability to be the man.
So, what’s really eating Kyrie Irving? An ex-teammate of Irving’s told Sports Illustrated’s Chirs Mannix he believes Irving’s “frustration” stems from “narratives” and not from anything the Celtics have done.
“The root of his frustration, a former teammate of Irving’s told SI.com, could have little to do with Boston at all. Irving hates the narrative that other players (Kevin Durant in New York; Davis in Boston) can influence his decision, the ex-teammate said. He gets frustrated when he feels people are trying to manipulate him. In his mind, it doesn’t matter if it’s Davis or James — he’s going to do whatever he wants to do, and to assume otherwise is disrespectful.”
When all is said and done, Irving likely will re-sign with the C’s and play through his prime in front of the TD Garden faithful. But to assume anything about the mercurial star would be a mistake. He very well could wake up on July 1 and decide he wants to play for the Lakers, Knicks or not at all.
Only he knows what he really wants.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images