The situation involving Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving and his upcoming free agency has been confusing, surprising and likely head-scratching for the fanbase. Prior to the year, Irving made his intentions to re-sign with the Celtics known, only to leave the door open for a potential exit earlier this season. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the 26-year-old guard will do when the offseason rolls around.
While there’s certainly a very real chance that Irving will remain in Boston, the possibility of him leaving is still on the table. In turn, we’re going to look at the three potential destinations that could make the most sense if the latter proves to be the case. What better place to start than with the team he’s been linked to all along – the New York Knicks.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are set to have the cap space to acquire two max-level free agents this offseason, and the belief has been that Irving will be the target for one of them. Marc Stein of the New York Times joined the Stephen A. Smith Show and addressed the topic, and in turn, brought to light the second team on this list.
Courtesy of Hoops Hype:
“The Knicks and the Nets, both New York teams, have believed quietly for a long time that they’re going to have a shot at Kyrie Irving in free agency. It’s not like the teams interested in him heard what he said in October and said ‘oh well, we’ve got no shot, Kyrie is staying in Boston.’ These teams are going to try … They will definitely go after Kyrie this summer.” Stein stated.
Hoops Hype also cited a tweet from Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com which revealed that a “handful of former and current” Cleveland Cavaliers players have felt Irving would land in New York. Which brings us to the second team Stein mentioned, the Brooklyn Nets.
Along with the report from Stein, Heavy.com’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson pointed out the fact that Irving’s dad is a native New Yorker from the borough of the Bronx, and his godfather is as well. It’s an interesting situation, as D’Angelo Russell will be a restricted free agent this offseason, and if the Nets can land Irving it’s likely they’d jump at the chance to build around him.
The pairing itself makes sense, but what Brooklyn plans to do this offseason remains a big question. They have a plethora of young talent and tremendous upside, and adding Irving to the mix could certainly help push them to another level. On the opposite side, they do have a handful of playmakers at the guard spots, including Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert.
Los Angeles Lakers
When Irving made the phone call to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James earlier this season to offer an apology, it fueled plenty of chatter about a potential reunion. Obviously, the direction the Lakers go this offseason will depend on the situation with Anthony Davis. But the idea of creating a trio of LeBron, Davis and Irving would be huge.
At this point, I can’t envision a world where the New Orleans Pelicans want to let that happen, but if Magic Johnson and company put together the best offer, it’ll be tough to ignore. From Irving’s perspective, the thought of being in Los Angeles with James and Davis is appealing, but even beyond that, he and the current Pelicans star could create a terrifying duo for the future.
While LeBron is 34 currently, the three-headed monster would be able to play together for a few seasons, but then Irving and Davis (25) could be the new faces of the franchise.