Following the NBA All-Star Weekend, Kyrie Irving has once again opened the door to a plethora of questions about his long-term commitment here in Boston. He was spotted having a private conversation with Kevin Durant, who is going to be a free agent along with Irving this summer. When asked about it, Irving got extremely defensive and added that this is making him not have fun. This is not the first time Kyrie has expressed his frustration with the media this season, and it certainly does not seem like it will be the last.
The speculation all along has been that Irving is extremely interested in the New York Knicks. Although they have been one of the worst franchises in the NBA for years now, they still are located in the best market in the country and therefore, qualify as a prime destination. Everyone wants to be the next Knick, and if someone ever went there and turned the franchise around, they would be praised forever. Aside from Irving, a plethora of rumors have surrounded Durant all year as well that he is also considering joining the Knicks. Put these two things together, and that is why their conversation at the All-Star game was looked at so closely.
The problem in this situation is something that Kyrie really just does not understand, and that is the fact that he told the city of Boston in the preseason that he wanted to sign here and return for the future. Had he never stated that he wanted to re-sign, then no one would be constantly asking him about his current commitment to the Boston Celtics. He is essentially going back on what he promised the team and fans, when in reality he easily could have just never made any promises and everything would be fine.
If and when Irving does flee to New York, where does that leave the Celtics? It would be foolish to say losing a top 10 player would not hurt Boston. Irving’s talent is something else and is truly special; he can take over a game at any moment and is never afraid to take a last-second shot. With that said, the Celtics absolutely could figure it out without him and still be competitive. As great as he is, it is evident that the Celtics play better “team” basketball without him on the floor. Both Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown step their games up with Irving off the floor, and the flow of the ball movement just looks a lot better. As Gordon Hayward continues to get his confidence back to where it should be, he very well could be back to normal form next year which would be a huge help. Another aspect to consider is the fact that Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler are also free agents that Danny Ainge would be interested in. It has always been tough to get free agents to Boston, so neither of those two guys should be expected to come here, but you never know. Aside from all of that, the primary target this summer in the NBA is Anthony Davis, and no one should ever count out Danny Ainge from pulling off a huge trade. Irving is probably heading to New York, but the Celtics are going to be just fine in the long run regardless of what he chooses to do.