Kyrie Irving is a member of the Boston Celtics and the All-Star point guard is under contract for at least one more season, but rumors about his 2019 free agency are already starting to surface. There’s talk of the New Jersey native coming home.
NBA insider Chris Mannix said on a recent podcast that some in Boston are scared that Irving wants to leave and come to New York.
“I think they’re scared,” Mannix said. “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?”
Irving was recently asked about the hype surrounding his free agency. Here’s what he said:
“I think just hearing the balance, it’s just a ways away, man,” Irving told reporters on Monday. “But [the hype] is already starting. As long as I could just divide the attention up and it just doesn’t infiltrate what I’m focused on during the season, then I’m cool with it.”
Irving can opt out of his contract and become a free agent next summer. He says it should be a “process.”
“It could be a process,’’ Irving said of his impending free agency. “Even considering that time, it seems like a long ways away. You’ve definitely seen it, observed it, other players have gone through it. You just can’t let anything infiltrate exactly where your focus is. A lot of your attention could be distracted in other areas. And we’ve seen things — our platform now, in terms of what the NBA entails, they could just draw one word and sentences start becoming whole diatribes of what he actually meant.”
The Knicks have long been mentioned as a potential destination for Irving. People within the Cavs organization reportedly felt that’s where Kyrie wanted to end up. When he demanded a trade last summer, the Knicks were reportedly on his list.
We’re still a ways away from next summer, though. NBA free agency for this summer has yet to start. But the Kyrie-Knicks situation is one to monitor going forward.