Before the start of the 2018-19 NBA season, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving revealed his plan to sign a long-term contract with the Boston Celtics when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next July. However, Irving had a change of heart in the middle of the season and already wants to keep all his options open in the 2019 NBA free agency. After a season filled with drama and frustration, rumors continue to heat up with speculation that Irving will be parting ways with the Celtics to team up with Golden State Warriors small forward Kevin Durant in New York.
The idea of playing in Madison Square Garden alongside one of the best active players in the league is undeniably intriguing enough for Kyrie Irving to leave the Celtics for the Knicks next summer. However, there are still some people who don’t see Irving taking his talent somewhere else. An unnamed Western Conference executive who spoke to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston believes that Irving is just “playing” everyone around the league regarding his impending free agency and said that the All-Star point will re-sign with the Celtics when free agency hits next July.
“He’s playing all of you guys right now,” a front-office official with a Western Conference team told NBC Sports on Thursday. “Say what you want about his leadership and all that nonsense, but the one thing we know about Kyrie is he will do what is best for Kyrie. The money, chance to win a title sooner rather than later, have his own team … all that stuff matters and when he looks at all the different options he’ll have, I think he’ll have one of those, ‘what the hell was I thinking?’ moments and go back to Boston.”
Terry Rozier complimentary of Kyrie Irving’s leadership, with a caveat https://t.co/mFdrBp77C6— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) May 14, 2019
Despite all the things that happened in the 2018-19 NBA season, it will definitely be not a surprise if Kyrie Irving chooses to stay in Boston. The Celtics are the only team that can offer Irving a five-year max contract, and they still have one of the most talented rosters in the league. Even if the 2019 NBA free agency is still months away, Celtics President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge already said that they will do everything they can to bring Irving back.
Aside from their willingness to give him a max contract, the Celtics are also reportedly planning to improve their roster in order to convince Kyrie Irving to stay. According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, the Celtics believe that the successful acquisition of Anthony Davis via trade will boost their chance of re-signing Irving next summer. Though they are expected to have numerous competition to get Davis’ service, the Celtics are still believed to be the team that can offer the best trade package to the New Orleans Pelicans.