Kyrie Irving seems pretty happy with the Boston Celtics, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to stay there past next year. If the New Jersey native leaves Boston, his two local clubs—the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks—will be hot on his heels.
Both teams have been rumored Kyrie Irving destinations previously this off-season. There has been word that he may try and team up with Jimmy Butler somewhere in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams should have serious cap space, and the ability to make one or two big moves in the off-season.
In his latest newsletter for The New York Times, Marc Stein gave an update about how the two teams may pursue Kyrie Irving.
Stein says there are “credible rumblings” that both the Knicks will be hard after Kyrie Irving in 2019 free agency.
There is no guarantee that he leaves the Celtics, especially if the team is poised to compete for championships. If he does, the local teams will be in a position to get him:
Kyrie Irving’s intentions are not at all clear at this point. There have been no firm indications from Irving or his camp that the All-Star guard is eyeing an exit from Boston next summer or that he’s angling to go to New York — as is often speculated.
But there are nonetheless credible rumblings in circulation that the Nets plan to pursue Irving, right alongside the Knicks, should he become a free agent on July 1, 2019.
In short: I expect Brooklyn to aim as high as possible in free agency while reserving the right to stay conservative if the Nets can’t convince top-tier free agents to take their money.
The former No. 1 pick forced a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers last off-season, and was off to a fantastic start before going down mid-way through the 2017-18 season with an injury. He averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists, and shot a career-high .491 from the field in 60 games with Boston.