Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving has heard the rumors linking him to the Knicks, which had been circulating throughout the summer. and he finally addressed them on Wednesday.
Irving grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, so it would make sense that he would want to play for his hometown team. However, it doesn’t appear that he wants to leave the Celtics anytime soon. He addressed the hot topic in a appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.”
“It’s easy to follow. I’m from New Jersey,” Irving said Wednesday. “But it’s rumors, rumors, rumors. … It’s easy to draw that connection – New York City – but why would I want to leave here?”
Irving does raise a good point, as the Celtics are the favorite to win the Eastern Conference this season, especially with LeBron James having taken his talents to Los Angeles. Boston nearly punched its ticket to the NBA Finals last season — without both Irving and Gordon Hayward during the postseason, no less — but a second-half meltdown in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals prevented it from doing so.
Still, a lot can change between now and July 1, 2019, when the free-agent market will officially open. Irving has the option to opt out of his current deal and test the market if he chooses, and the allure of playing under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, in front of the hometown fans, figures to be fairly attractive as well. The Knicks will have a ton of cap space, and the team could potentially sign two max players, although it would take some work to do so.
For the time being, though, Irving appears focused on suiting up for the Celtics in the 2018-19 season; unless he’s traded, which would be a shocking move, but isn’t out of the realm of possibility.