Rumors and speculations are swirling around Boston Celtics superstar Kyrie Irving who will reportedly consider signing with the Miami Heat once he exercises his player option to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Can Pat Riley convince “Uncle Drew” to leave Boston for South Beach?
It’s been a long time since Heat President Pat Riley brought an in-his-prime star in Miami. The last time the Heat became an exciting team was when LeBron James and Chris Bosh teamed up with Dwyane Wade in 2010. Though they currently have Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, the Heat aren’t considered a huge threat in the Eastern Conference.
Since they are loaded with long-term contracts on their roster, the Heat aren’t expected to make a huge splash in the upcoming free agency. However, according to Barry Jackson of Miami Herald, they could try to acquire a superstar in the summer of 2019. The 2019 free agency will feature superstars like Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, and Kevin Love.
Of all their potential targets, Jackson revealed that Miami has a higher chance of landing Irving. However, bringing “Uncle Drew” to South Beach won’t be easy as anyone thinks.
“Unless he falls in love with Boston, Miami would be a legitimate consideration for Irving, who listed the Heat among four preferences when he asked the Cavs to trade him last summer.”
Before signing Kyrie Irving, the Heat will first need to create salary cap space to give him a maximum contract which will only be possible if both Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic opt out of their contract. If only one of them opts out, the Heat will be needing to engage in a sign-and-trade deal with the Celtics. As Jackson noted, Riley doesn’t have a good relationship with Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge, making it more difficult to make the potential deal.
Ainge will surely do everything to make Irving stay in Boston, and a previous Inquisitr report revealed that the Celtics are “extremely invested” in keeping the All-Star point guard in 2019. In an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump, Irving also talked about playing alongside Gordon Hayward in the “years to come.” According to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg, it is a major hint that Irving envisions a long-term future in Boston.
Though it’s early to talk about Irving’s decision to 2019, it’s interesting to know what Pat Riley can do to convince him to leave the Celtics for the Heat. Riley will be needing to be very creative in terms of salary cap flexibility and make huge roster shakeup in order make Miami an attractive free agency destination once again.