Many assume Kyrie Irving is setting himself to leave the Boston Celtics in free agency next summer, but as the leader of a championship contender, we should probably assume nothing.
With a roster laden with All-Star talent, the Boston Celtics are poised to find themselves at the very pointy end of the Eastern Conference standings for not only this season, but the foreseeable future.
Kyrie Irving is central to those projections, with the perennial All-Star and NBA champion set to control the floor for Brad Stevens’ men.
After missing the 2018 postseason with further complications to his knee injury from prior years, Irving is looking for a good run of health ahead of what will be a major payday come June next year.
The matter of Irving’s contract is not as simple as you would imagine, with the 26-year-old suffering through multiple years of knee complaints that present some concerns looking ahead to the future.
It would no doubt take a max contract to keep Kyrie in green, though Danny Ainge has made a clear and concise commitment to this group by bringing both Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart back for the upcoming season.
Via ESPN, Irving is apparently feeling the best he has in years.
“I’ve worked on my strength and have a heightened awareness of what my body needs on a day-to-day basis. I spent all summer trying get my left leg to catch up with my right. And it’s there.”
This is especially exciting news for Celtics fans right now, but it was some other comments he made to Jackie MacMullan that proved to be the most intriguing.
“Can we beat Golden State in a seven-game series? Yes.
“Because of who we have and what we’re establishing here, not just for this season, but for hopefully for the next few years, something that’s pretty special.”
Wait. Did he just say for the next few years?
What about those rumors of wanting to go to New York?
What about teaming up with the potentially soon to be traded Jimmy Butler?
Brad Stevens has been universally heralded for being able to build a squad full of guys who are willing to sacrifice and play team first basketball. It was those principles that allowed the Celtics to make an inspired run to the conference finals despite being severely undermanned.
It was also those principles that prompted Baynes and Smart to declare their deep desire to stay in Boston and attend to unfinished business.
So given all those facts, why should we assume that Kyrie Irving would pack up his things and leave with the franchise on the precipice of the ultimate success?
The season will no doubt be littered with rumours and innuendo on where Kyrie’s future lies. If he is fully engaged this season, and where he will be playing beyond free agency. Despite those questions, one fact remains pretty clear.
If he wants to win, he’s in about as good a spot as you could possibly imagine.
“The drive for greatness, the drive to win a championship, that’s all I care about. The rest of it doesn’t matter.”
Well, OK then, Kyrie. I guess there’s nothing to worry about right?