Kyrie Irving is one of the most popular players in the NBA, as well as one of the most fun to watch on a night-to-night basis.
Though Kyrie Irving started his career in a rather small market in Cleveland, the return of LeBron James meant that he was thrust into the spotlight as a gifted, overqualified sidekick to James.
After delivering a championship to Cleveland on the back of a now-legendary series-winning triple against the Warriors, Irving requested a trade from the Cavaliers, which they provided — sending him to Boston in the 2017 offseason.
Though injuries cut his season short in 2017-18, he was still named to his 5th All-Star Team and helped lead the Celtics to the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference last year.
However, the NBA transactional rumor mill never stops churning. With Kyrie Irving’s pending free agency (and Kawhi Leonard‘s and Kevin Durant‘s) looming over the NBA like a cash-filled cloud bank, multiple teams have already started to backchannel their into talks with the Celtics about Irving’s future in Boston.
Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston had this to say recently on the Bulls Talk podcast:
I can tell you right now, the New York Knicks, he is their No. 1 target. I’ve spoken with people within that organization. They have made it absolutely crystal clear to me that, if they had their pick of guys that are going to be in the free agent market this summer, Kyrie would be their first, second, third and fourth choice.
The full podcast is here, which delves into far more discussion of Kyrie and his future:
The New York Knicks have long been a trendy choice for Kyrie Irving’s future, and this new reporting only adds fuel to the fire.
While playing in Madison Square Garden alongside Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Knox is sure to have its appeal, the Celtics are the darlings of the Eastern Conference and will likely be contending for titles for years to come, as long as Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum continue their development along the same path their careers began.
Is title-contention all that Kyrie Irving is looking for? Seemingly not, as he could’ve stuck around on the Cavaliers for one more year if that was his goal.
Perhaps we’ll never know Irving’s true feelings on the matter, but next offseason is sure to be a fascinating one for everyone — Kyrie Irving included.