Boston Celtics legend, franchise icon, and one of the greatest players in the storied franchise history, John Havlicek has died at the age of 79, the team announced on Thursday night.
Havlicek played all 16 years of his career with the Celtics where he earned NBA Finals MVP honors in 1974, was a 13-time NBA All-Star, and was named to 11 All-NBA teams and 8 All-Defensive teams over his tenure.
Havlicek was one of 10 players in NBA history to make at least eight All-NBA teams and eight All-Defensive teams, and one of nine players in NBA history to be an All-Star in 13 straight seasons.
Havlicek led the NBA in minutes played in both the 1970-1971 and 1971-1972 seasons.
“The thing with John, he competed against you at the highest level and he wanted to win badly,” Hall of Famer Jerry West said, according to ESPN. “But he was always a really nice person. I don’t think that I ever heard anyone say a bad word about John. He was pleasant off the court and pleasant on it. But he really, really competed against you.”
Celtics’ Emerge As Favorites for Kemba Walker
As the Charlotte Hornets and soon-to-be free agent guard Kemba Walker, who has been a cornerstone of the franchise, have hit a contract stalemate, the Boston Celtics have emerged as a favorite to land him should he hit free agency, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Walker, 29, is eligible for a five-year, $221 million supermax contract from the Hornets, but it’s not a lock that he returns, as the New York City native is also linked to Boston, the Dallas Mavericks, and the New York Knicks.
Walker has shown his loyalty to the Hornets organization, stating that he would be willing to accept a discount to remain with the only team he has ever played for at the NBA level.
The most another team can offer him is a four-year, $140 million deal in free agency, and he officially become a free agent this Sunday at 6 pm EST.
With the likely departure of Kyrie Irving, the Celtics slotting in Walker could be seen as an upgrade considering how Irving’s tenure soured, and the lack of chemistry with the roster throughout last season.
Breaking down how Boston can sign Kemba Walker. pic.twitter.com/AY1BXPxdNi
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 27, 2019
Kyrie Irving “Ghosted” Celtics As Free Agency Approaches
It appears that Kyrie Irving’s time with the Boston Celtics is coming to an end, despite his assurances to fans, prior to last season, that he planned to re-sign with the team.
Boy, have things changed.
According to the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsback, Irving has “essentially ghosted” the Celtics and has had “little, if any, communication” with the organization in recent weeks.
Irving is expected to decline the player option in his contract for the upcoming season, which will make him an unrestricted free agent.
While Irving’s tenure with the Celtics is coming to an end, his new beginnings have been flooding the rumor mill as free agency approaches.
Irving has been heavily connected with the Brooklyn Nets, but has also been mentioned as a target for the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kyrie Irving Linked to Roc Nation After Parting Ways with Agent
Boston Celtics guard and likely soon-to-be free agent Kyrie Irving has started setting the table for what should be a league shifting and lucrative venture into free agency this summer.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Irving has parted ways with his longtime agent Jeff Wechsler.
The report goes on to say that Irving is likely set to enter a partnership with Roc Nation Sports where they will become his new representation.
Irving is reportedly planning not to pick up his $21.3 million option for next season, leaving the Celtics to enter free agency, and while it doesn’t 100% rule out a return to Boston, it makes the chances of doing so less likely as entering free agency will bring a number of suitors to the table.
The Brooklyn Nets have been consistently linked with Irving, along with Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant, as well as the New York Knicks.
Wojnarowski’s report mentions that Irving has discussed teaming up with Durant to join the Nets or the Knicks, and that likelihood ramps up if Irving officially joins Roc Nation, who also represents Durant.
Durant’s situation becomes a bit more cloudy following his injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, when he tore his Achilles, and he is expected to miss the majority of, if not all of, the 2019-2020 season.
Additionally, the Celtics are shifting their focus towards acquiring New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, and are doing so with the hopes that acquiring Davis will help convince Irving to stay.
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