Kyrie Irving and his impending free agency have been one of the most talked about topics since the 2018 NBA offseason. The rumors somewhat died down when Irving expressed his desire to re-sign with the Celtics before the 2018-19 NBA season started. However, recently, Irving said that he only said those things because of excitement and added that he wants to keep his options open next summer.
When he called LeBron James to apologize for his behavior during their stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, rumors and speculations started to circulate that Irving could sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2019 NBA free agency. However, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, if ever Irving decides to leave the Celtics, he’s “more likely” to join the New York Knicks than reunite with LeBron James in Los Angeles.
“Still, the Celtics believe Irving will return — especially if Boston can strike a deal with New Orleans to get Davis. The biggest roadblock to a deal happening — Davis not wanting to stay in Boston — disappeared Saturday when he declared the Celtics were, in fact, on his list of preferred destinations. But if Boston doesn’t get Davis — or Irving simply decides to leave — the Knicks are considered a much more likely destination for Irving than a reunion with James.”
The reunion of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Los Angeles will undeniably make the competition in the Western Conference more interesting. However, though they already mended their fences, Irving may no longer be interested in putting himself again under the shadow of James. Irving may consider starting a new journey and create his own legacy on a big market team like the Knicks.
After engaging in a blockbuster deal with the Dallas Mavericks before the February NBA trade deadline, the Knicks opened up enough salary cap space to chase two max free agents in the summer of 2019. If they succeed to acquire Kyrie Irving, they could still chase for another superstar in the free agency market. Some of the incoming free agent superstars that the Knicks could pair with Irving include Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors, and Jimmy Butler of the Philadelphia 76ers.
As of now, Kyrie Irving is focused on helping the Celtics fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win the 2019 NBA championship title. The outcome of the 2018-19 NBA season is expected to play a major role on Irving’s decision in the 2019 NBA free agency. If they fail to at least enter the NBA Finals, Irving could entertain offers from other NBA teams when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next July.