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.
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 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.
Celtics’ General Manager Danny Ainge Suffers Mild Heart Attack
Boston Celtics general manager and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge suffered a mild heart attack on Tuesday in Milwaukee, according to a team press release.
Ainge, 60, was with the team in Milwaukee for the first round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Bucks.
“Been in constant communication with his family,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, according to ESPN. “He’s resting well and feels better. Obviously, always scary, but he’s got a good support network. Obviously, expect a full recovery and he’s feeling good. So that’s all positive. Certainly scary.”
Ainge, who suffered what is described as a mild heart attack back in April 2009, received immediate medical attention and is expected to make a full recovery, and is expected to return to Boston soon.
“Danny is just one of those guys who takes time out of his life, his day when he’s doing his schedule, to make sure you’re all right,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. “He constantly checks in on us, my family, and things like that. Just personally, for me, he’s been another mentor. For me, from when I first got here, Danny was the person I see every day and am talking to, so he means a lot to my life as well. … I just hope he has a speedy recovery.”
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