Chatter around the league is always interesting because it brings up the most interesting of hot takes. The latest involves Kyrie Irving and whether or not he would stay with the Boston Celtics after next season. Apparently, he has an opt-out in his contract for the 2018-2019 season and there’s a potential he could walk.
The C’s did magnificent without him in the playoffs and it could be argued they don’t need him anyway, but considering they traded some big pieces for him last summer, there’s no way Danny Ainge would let Kyrie go for nothing if these reports actually happened to be true.
As Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports said on his podcast:
“I think they’re scared. I think they’re scared and should be scared to some degree of Kyrie Irving walking in 2019. I know he had a great year, but you know there are people in Cleveland that will tell you that the Knicks should be considered a real threat for Kyrie Irving. Because Kyrie had talked about it—about playing with the Knicks with some players in that Cleveland locker room—from what I was told.
“You know, things can change. Obviously, you go to Boston and you become the face of the franchise. You’re on a winning team. Maybe the mindset has changed significantly?”
In his first year with Boston, Irving averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. He was also named to his fifth All-Star appearance and carried the young Celtics squad for stretches during the season.
His time came to an end right before the playoffs, as he underwent knee surgery.
Both he and Gordon Hayward are scheduled to be back for team next season as they are considered one of the biggest threats in the Eastern Conference for years to come. They came up one win short of the NBA Finals this season when the Cleveland Cavaliers beat them in Game 7 on their home court, but knowing they will have Irving and Hayward back for big games like that next season is a positive sign. Especially with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier still developing into stars.
Could Kyrie be harboring negative feelings about how this postseason went? Would he be dumb enough to leave a title contender for a rebuild job in New York?