Kyrie Irving will be heading in the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of helping the Boston Celtics fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win an NBA championship title. The outcome of the upcoming season will be crucial as it could play a major role in Irving’s decision in the summer of 2019 when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The Celtics tried to prevent Kyrie Irving from hitting the free agency market by giving him a contract extension. Unfortunately, Irving rejected the Celtics’ offer since he can earn bigger money when he inks a new contract next offseason. Though Boston is still the top favorite to sign the All-Star point guard in 2019 NBA free agency, Dale Shakib of Yardbarker believes the Celtics should be worried about Irving.
“The Celtics should worry that Irving could be planning a move out of Boston. When he demanded a trade out of Cleveland, Irving listed Miami, Minnesota, New York, and San Antonio as his preferred destinations. Boston did not make that list, but Jimmy Butler’s Minnesota Timberwolves did. Now, both of them will be free agents in 2019. Meanwhile, Butler wants out. The two guards want to play alongside each other, and the rumors of New York being a possible destination should concern the Celtics.”
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) August 3, 2018
In the past months, rumors and speculations continue to swirl that Kyrie Irving is interested in teaming up with his Team USA teammate Jimmy Butler in 2019. Like Irving, Butler also declined the contract extension the Minnesota Timberwolves offered. He could become an unrestricted free agency next summer by exercising his early-termination option. If the two superstars will really consider playing together in 2019-20 NBA season, the New York Knicks emerge as their top free agency destination.
In New York, Irving and Butler will be forming the Knicks’ “Big Three” with Kristaps Porzingis, who is currently considered the face of the franchise. As Yardbarker noted, the Knicks potential trio will be a huge threat in the Eastern Conference. They will be having one of the best offensive point guards in the league in Irving, and two of the best two-way players in Butler and Porzingis.
In order to acquire both superstars, the Knicks will be needing to make multiple roster moves to open enough salary cap space for two maximum free agents. Before the 2019 NBA free agency starts, the Knicks should find a way to get rid Joakim Noah and his contract. As of now, it’s early to say where will Irving and Butler end up in 2019. However, the upcoming free agency decision of both superstars will undeniably change the NBA landscape.