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Report: Teams ‘More Wary’ of Pursuing Kyrie Irving This Offseason
- Updated: May 18, 2019
While his talents on the court are undeniable, Irving’s predilection to become an off-court distraction has given some teams around the NBA pause.
According to a report by Steven Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Irving’s behavior throughout the 2018-19 season may make him a less attractive option this summer.
“The most interesting bit of information from several sources that we’ve been able to consolidate and confirm is that some teams thought to have interest in Irving as a free agent are now a great deal more wary,” he wrote. “Based on the way things played out with the Celtics this season and Irving’s role both off the court all year and on it in the playoff loss to Milwaukee, certain clubs are concerned about putting too many eggs in his basket right away.”
Considering how often Irving has been in the news over the past few seasons, this report should not come as much of a surprise.
In the summer of 2017, Irving requested a trade from what most considered to be either the best or second best team in the league in the Cavs. He was subsequently traded to the Boston Celtics, and while he first did nothing but sing the praises of the organization, that soon took a turn.
In his second season with the Celtics, Irving often would speak out to complain about the lack of experience on the Celtics’ roster. He would also often seem disinterested in games, and was repeatedly cagey when asked about his impending free agency.
Now that the offseason is quickly approaching, it seems Irving could be on the move once again. Most reports indicate that he is interested in joining either the Brooklyn Nets or the New York Knicks.
If Irving does leave for New York, many around the league believe that Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant will join him. Interestingly, according to Bulpett, there may even be some conflict between the two All-Stars already.
“And the way things went for the Celtics has caused some of Irving’s expected pursuers to, if not get uptight, then to at least pause for a moment,” Bulpett wrote. “The talk has been fast and often borderline furious. One Knick source said three months ago that people above him in the organization were convinced the club was getting both Irving and Kevin Durant. A prominent agent shook his head at that and said the ongoing dilemma was that Kyrie wanted Brooklyn and Durant wanted the Knicks. Another league source said the Irving/Brooklyn talk was just a smokescreen. But a Warrior source said he knew for sure that Irving had spoken to Durant about the possibility of teaming up.”
It’s possible that Irving’s desire for media attention and the bright lights of New York City could be a perfect match.