Kyrie Irving’s initial pledge to sign with the Boston Celtics long term feels like an eternity ago.
It only was back in October when Irving vocalized his intentions to re-sign in Boston. A whole lot has changed since the fall, though, and it might not be long until the star point guard finds a new home.
The pair of New York teams appear to be the frontrunners for Irving’s services, with the Brooklyn Nets reportedly holding a leg up in the sweepstakes. A return to the Celtics can’t entirely be ruled out, but according to SNY’s Ian Begley, Irving continuing his NBA career in green isn’t very likely.
“His (Irving’s) plans/desires today may not be the same as they are on June 30,” Begley writes. “With that said, in recent days, people around Irving have described the probability of him returning to Boston as a free agent as low. Celtics GM Danny Ainge told reporters Wednesday that they haven’t received any indication yet from Irving that he doesn’t want to return to Boston.”
Irving’s two-year stint in Boston was filled with frustration, especially this season when the Celtics fell considerably short of meeting their high expectations. But when you look at Irving’s other reported options, is there really a clear-cut better situation out there?
The Nets are an exciting young bunch, but unless they manage to reel in another superstar in addition to Irving, the 27-year-old will be tasked with leading an inexperienced club. After what transpired in Boston, Irving might view that as too much of an undertaking.
As for the Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, well, neither franchise has been able to avoid perpetual disaster of late. Both teams are expected to be major players this summer, but there’s no guarantee strong offseasons will completely clean up their respective messes.
The Celtics still feature a very strong core and could be in the mix for a marquee talent — looking at you, Anthony Davis — next month as well. Irving departing Boston would be more than understandable, but it might not be in his best interest.