Kyrie Irving could be nearing the end of his time in Boston. The Celtics head to Milwaukee for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals down 3-1 against the Bucks. After a double-digit victory in the opening game, Irving and company have dropped three in a row, including the last two in TD Garden.
The biggest issue is an inability to slow down a burgeoning superstar in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Not too far behind is a series on inefficient outings from Irving. He’s shot under 40 percent in three straight games, despite scoring over 20 points in each of the last two.
Is Boston getting the best bang for their buck? Irving is in the fourth year of a 5-year, $94.34 million contract. He has a player option he can execute this summer to earn $21,329,750 next year for the Celtics (per Spotrac).
If he decides against sticking around for another season, which teams are willing to take on a similar or bigger financial commitment from the All-Star? Let’s take a look at latest rumors.
Kyrie Irving Free Agency Rumors
Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus talked about how Irving may have patched things up with LeBron James, citing an exchange Kyrie had in January with the media.
“I had to call [LeBron] and tell him I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips … I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that, and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people.”
Irving acknowledged that he made mistakes and failed to see the bigger picture in Cleveland, focusing instead on stats and All-Star teams. Perhaps Irving doesn’t mind being Robin to LeBron’s Batman again.
Bobby Burack of The Big Lead says the drama between the two would only get worse in the bright lights of Los Angeles.
Not denying that the Lakers with Irving would be a good team with some serious star power. It’s that the unbelievably damaging drama that comes with James is sure to outweigh that. Oh, and Irving might be even more difficult to deal with than he was in Cleveland.
He instead points out that Irving should wait to see if Kevin Durant leaves Golden State for the Knicks. CBS Sports’ Kevin Skiver argues that Brooklyn, not New York, is the more likely landing spot.
The Nets made the playoffs this year behind the stellar play of D’Angelo Russell, and the team does appear to have a bright future. While they don’t play in a storied arena such as Madison Square Garden, the team is building a better reputation then their rival Knicks.
That could be good news for the Nets as they chase stars like Irving, who could take them to the next level and make them not only a playoff team, but a legitimate threat in the East.
Chris Broussard talked with Rob Parker on Fox Sports Radio about how Irving’s struggles this postseason should be evidence enough that he needs to join forces with LeBron if he wants another championship ring.
“Kyrie Irving is Exhibit A as to why some players need to get off their high horse and recognize that they should go play with LeBron James,” he said Tuesday.
A classic battle between Los Angeles and New York (and Brooklyn) is brewing for Irving’s services for 2019-20.