Rumors have blatantly circulated for most of the 2018-19 season that the New York Knicks are favorites to land the two All-Stars during this summer’s free agency period.
The Brooklyn Nets have also quietly been in play with it being reported as far back as March, a month after the most tumultuous stretch of the Celtics season, that Irving preferred signing with the Nets over the Knicks.
However, seeing how the Knicks flopped in obtaining the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft – likely missing out on Zion Williamson – the Nets suddenly appear to be an increasingly attractive destination for Irving and Durant.
Marc Stein of The New York Times told Stephen A. Smith that Irving and Durant could join forces in Brooklyn by next season (h/t Anthony Puccio of SB Nation)
Boston Celtics rumors: Dont expect Terry Rozier to return
“They are going to look at the Nets just as hard as the Knicks, Stein said on The Stephen A. Smith Show podcast Tuesday.
The Nets have no picks in the lottery but their big win here is the Knicks are seated at the third overall spot in the draft, where prospects such as Duke Universitys R.J. Barrett and the University of Virginias DeAndre Hunter will likely be the best remaining players on the board. While both provide an immediate boost to a franchise, neither allow the Knicks a practical opportunity to parlay their assets for the superstar of their choosing.
Kyrie Irving spoke at length in February about the rumors swirling around his future in the NBA. He called those whispers unwarranted commentary, while reminding reporters that the decision to sign with a team would be his and his alone.
The commentary has done anything but cease in the months since. The Celtics frustrating season and untimely playoff exit raised even more questions about where Irving will be plying his trade next season, with one analyst suggesting that the other Boston players would help him pack if he signed elsewhere.
Irving can exercise a player option for the 2019-20 season, or decline it for unrestricted free agency. Hes been linked to a move, alongside Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, to the New York Knicks. Other reports tie him to a return to LeBron Jamess side, this time with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The whispers wont stop until Irving inks a new contract, in Boston or another NBA destination. Free agency begins on July 1.
As time passes here, I wouldve said that this is impossible for many months. But as time passes here and as the possibility exists that Jason Kidd could be hired as the Lakers coach, I think the possibility of Kyrie and LeBron reuniting — that door, which was deadbolted, has been undeadbolted and has now been cracked open … It might even be opening more by the day. And I say that just because I think its on Kyries radar, its on Kyries board. He has had discussions with people about playing for the Lakers.
I can just see a world in which he goes to the Phoenix Suns, where that is such a great fit for him. Look, we tried this this year where Kyrie goes into a situation where he tries to be a leader, he tries to carry a team to the next level, to a championship — it didnt work. He couldnt do it. If anything, you reset things where expectations are lower and you can have more of an impact on the culture. I know theres been a lot of discussion about the Knicks and theres been discussion about the Nets. I dont really see how he fits in Brooklyn without them having to trade one of their backcourt, right?
The Lakers have a better roster and the fourth-overall pick. The Pelicans can find an attractive deal with the Lakers. Or [New Orleans general manager David] Griffin may start having conversations with Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge, who has a young and talented roster plus first-round picks to trade. Ainge, according to sources, wants to re-sign Irving and believes he will do just that if the Celtics acquire Davis.
You have to appreciate someone who isn’t afraid to speak their mind. In professional sports it is a rare sight especially here in New England. Terry Rozier once again blasted the Boston Celtics for the team’s performance this year.
From what Im told, its not going to happen. I got a text message from folks close to Kyries family, within the hour, as we were teasing this subject. Quote: There is no way in hell hes going to LA. I dont give a damn what anybody says, knock that down for us right now please. He aint going to LA. Thats what they say.
From everything that Ive been hearing over the last few days, Kyrie Irving is heading to New York City. Kyrie Irving is heading to Madison Square Garden with Kevin Durant. People in his inner circle are trying to bring the Nets into the mix, but clearly New York is the destination. The likelihood is it will be MSG.
According to folks Ive spoken to, theyd put chances at 95 percent that KD and Kyrie come to New York next season. With those two personalities, folks refuse to say 100 percent.
Kyrie Irving is a ball-dominating, isolation type of player. They used to be team where Al Horford, their center, led them in assists. That was their style. Now theyve chosen to give the ball to Kyrie to take them home. Hes shown that he cant be the best player on a contending team. Hes done in Boston. And you ready for this? His teammates will help him pack.
Ive heard that Davis wouldnt completely rule out staying with the Celtics without Irving, but the odds of him re-upping in that scenario are significantly lower.