If reports on Tuesday are accurate, Kyrie Irving’s days as a member of the Boston Celtics are numbered.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Irving is expected to leave the Celtics and sign with the Brooklyn Nets when free agency starts on June 30.
Irving has been communicative and forthright with top Celtics officials since the season ended, with private and public signals that he will leave the organization in free agency — likely for the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. https://t.co/EupfcYxhsg
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 18, 2019
This comes on the heels of a Boston Globe report on Monday that suggested Irving had shut down communication with the Celtics.
Instead, it appears that Irving is making it clear where he wants to go — and that’s not Boston. Marc Stein of The New York Times also reported that the Nets believe they are primed to land Irving.
The Nets strongly believe they are the frontrunners to sign Kyrie Irving when free agency commences June 30, league sources say. That and much more en route in a SLAMMED edition of your @nytimes NBA newsletter that will be invading inboxes soon
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 19, 2019
Tuesday was a rough day for the Celtics, with big man Al Horford declining a $30.1 million player option for next season and likely headed elsewhere as well.
This has come as a shock for Celtics fans, who went from having one of the East’s best rosters to the sudden possibility of losing two of their most pivotal players in less than 24 hours.
The Celtics took a gamble when trading for Irving a few years ago, banking on the odds that he would like Boston enough to sign long-term. It appears that is going to be unlikely.
According to Stein, Nets’ guard Spencer Dinwiddie has been a strong voice in recruiting Irving to Brooklyn, and Irving’s decision to sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation are indications that he is leaning toward moving the Nets.
Irving would be a huge acquisition for the Nets, who surprised many last season by making the playoffs with a young, unproven squad. Add a star like Irving and they could make some noise in the East.
But who knows? The NBA is wild, and Irving is unpredictable. There’s still 12 more days until free agency even begins.
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