In October, in front of thousands of fans, Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving said he envisioned himself wearing the green and white for years to come.
“If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here,” Irving said.
On Friday, with the NBA seemingly now in turmoil after one blockbuster trade and rumblings of another, Irving seemed to back off to that commitment.
“Ask me July 1,” Irving told reporters who asked about his future, referencing the opening date of NBA free agency.
The trade of Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas on Wednesday magically opened cap space for the New York Knicks for two max-contract free agents. Upcoming free agents who could have an eye on New York include Irving and Golden State’s Kevin Durant.
A potential trade of New Orleans star Anthony Davis — who can’t be traded to Boston before July 1 unless Irving is traded — also has muddied the NBA landscape.
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has not expressed any desire to trade Irving, and said this Thursday in an interview with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston:
“I talk to Kyrie all the time. My feelings have not changed. I feel like Kyrie likes it in Boston,” Ainge said. “But we won’t know anything until July.”
Various reports this week have said Irving, who turns 27 next month, would like to rejoin LeBron James and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 43 games this season, Irving is averaging 23.7 points, 6.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds.
The Celtics got off to a sluggish start to the season but are now 32-19 and tied for fourth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, 5 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee.
–Field Level Media