Prior to the 2018-19 NBA season, Kyrie Irving revealed he planned on re-signing with the Boston Celtics at a season-ticket holders event.
However, as the season progressed, Irving’s stance began to change with the Celtics struggling. Despite a 49-33 record, the Celtics were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 2019 NBA playoffs.
Heading into free agency, there are some hints about Irving’s future.
With Irving reportedly considering other teams, the chances of him re-signing with the Celtics are low, according to Ian Begley of SportsNet New York:
That applies to Irving as well. His plans/desires today may not be the same as they are on June 30. With that said, in recent days, people around Irving have described the probability of him returning to Boston as a free agent as low. Celtics GM Danny Ainge told reporters Wednesday that they haven’t received any indication yet from Irving that he doesn’t want to return to Boston.
As a result, Irving’s decision could impact their potential trade offers for Anthony Davis with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Begley:
If Irving indeed leaves Boston, it may have an impact on the teams in pursuit of Davis. The Celtics’ interest in Davis was reportedly predicated on their desire to pair him with Irving. Without Irving, you’d think the Celtics would be less inclined to give up a significant amount of young players/draft picks to acquire Davis.
At the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, the Celtics were viewed as the ideal trade partner for the Pelicans. However, three months later, they risk trading players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for a likely one-year rental now.
If the Celtics ultimately are forced to build around Tatum and Brown, there are some beneficial scenarios for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Along with Irving reportedly ‘more open’ to reuniting with LeBron James in Los Angeles, his decision could eliminate the Celtics from the Davis sweepstakes. While the Pelicans would prefer not to trade Davis to his preferred destination, the Lakers can make a ‘pretty attractive’ offer for him.
Highlighted by the young core, the Lakers benefited by landing the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. With general manager Rob Pelinka running the team’s front office now, it will be interesting to see what he offers for Davis.