BOSTON (CBS) — A year ago, Kyrie Irving appeared to have the option of traveling down any NBA path he wanted. Now, things might not be so simple.
As Irving enters free agency this summer, some of those teams that might have been interested in spending as much as necessary in order to land him for the long term may not be quite so eager to do so, according to a new report.
“Some teams thought to have interest in Irving as a free agent are now a great deal more wary,” Steve Bulpett wrote in the Boston Herald, citing multiple sources. “Based on the way things played out with the Celtics this season and Irving’s role both off the court all year and on it in the playoff loss to Milwaukee, certain clubs are concerned about putting too many eggs in his basket right away.”
Bulpett added that two teams in particular only want Irving under two specific conditions. First, that team would have to land another superstar. Second, that other superstar would have to specifically want to play with Irving.
Bulpett also included one rather interesting note: When Irving told season ticket holders last October that he planned on re-signing with the Celtics “wasn’t taken by the club as a binding pledge.”
“The belief was always that his final call would be based on how the Celts’ year went,” Bulpett wrote.
It all paints a very fascinating picture of what might come for Irving’s NBA future. The teams that would have been willing to line up and offer the world to Irving with no questions asked a year ago may now be a bit more hesitant.
Irving’s tumultuous season (off the court during the season, on the court in the postseason), along with Kevin Durant’s calf injury and Kawhi Leonard’s success with Toronto … it all makes for what should be a fascinating summer in NBA free agency.