NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving To Clippers Could Happen Before February Trade Deadline, 'Bleacher Report' Predicts

In the past months, rumors and speculations have continued to swirl that Kyrie Irving will be leaving the Boston Celtics in the 2019 NBA offseason. His decision not to sign a contract extension with the Celtics heated up the speculations about his potential departure from Boston. If the Celtics will not get a commitment from the All-Star point guard, it will be the best option to trade him before the February NBA trade deadline than lose him in the summer of 2019 as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return.

Once the Celtics officially make Kyrie Irving available on the trading block, several NBA teams are expected to express strong interest to add him to their team. According to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, one of the teams who should risk trading for Irving is the Los Angeles Clippers.

"Irving, forever itching to be the leader of his own team, now has to deal with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown emerging in Boston (and also Al Horford being objectively better than him), not to mention the eventuality of the Celtics adding another superstar like Anthony Davis. So let's get him to Los Angeles, where he can build a media empire or just sit around in the sun all year — whatever he prefers. There's a risk that Irving opts out and leaves in free agency this coming summer, but the Clippers should still gamble."
With all their "Big Three" gone, the Clippers are no longer a team to fear in the deep Western Conference. The Lakers' acquisition of LeBron James also takes away the Clippers' status as the best team in Los Angeles. However, those things could immediately change once they acquire Kyrie Irving and convince him to stay long-term.

The 26-year-old point guard is currently in his prime, which makes him the perfect centerpiece of the next title-contending team the Clippers are planning to build. Also, successfully adding Irving to their team will make them the top free agency destination for Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Jimmy Butler next summer. Since the 2018 NBA offseason started, rumors continue to circulate that Irving and Butler want to play together in one team.

According to a previous Inquisitr article, the Clippers are expected to enter the 2019 NBA free agency with $50 million in salary cap space. They could open two max slots for Irving and Butler if they manage to trade one of Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams, or Montrezl Harrell.