Top 3 Destinations for Kyrie Irving In The 2019-2020 Season
The Boston Celtics exited the 2019 NBA Playoffs after getting eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games in the second round of the postseason.
The attention now turns to the future of Kyrie Irving, who could hit free agency this 2019 summer by waiving his player option. Many believed the Celtics would be better during the playoffs with Irving healthy and playing, unlike last season when Boston managed to reach the Eastern Conference Finals without Uncle Drew.
However, the 2016 NBA champion was disappointing throughout the series, in part due to his defensive effort, shot selection and apparent lack of leadership.
Still, he is a top 20 player in the league right now, and teams will certainly be lining up for his services in the summer. Nitrogen Sports Blog lists down the top three destinations for Irving should he leave Boston.
3. Los Angeles Lakers
This seemed unlikely before, but things have changed. While the Lakers endured a disaster of a season since LeBron James arrived, they are still in a position to attract at least one top-tier free agent in the offseason.
The Lakers are expected to have a big cap space this offseason, with a number of pending free agents they can let walk away into the open market. Kyrie Irving’s free agency decision this 2019 will be a narrative the Lakers will closely keep tabs on.
Irving could be a player the Lakers are targeting. He notably left the Cleveland Cavaliers because he wanted to be the main man rather than playing second fiddle to James.
However, in January he revealed he apologized to the three-time champion for being “the young player that wanted everything at his fingertips.”
Given how the playoffs went for the Celtics, maybe Irving now believes he’s better suited playing alongside James and a reunion could be in store?
Irving averaged 23.8 points, 6.9 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game in the 2018-19 NBA season.
2. Los Angeles Clippers
This Kyrie Irving free agency in 2019 is seemingly adding to the growing rivalry between two Los Angeles teams. While the Lakers can attract a top-tier free agent, their city rivals in the Clippers have the cap space to accommodate two max contracts.
The Clippers may be eyeing Irving in the offseason. Conversely, Irving could be interested in making a move to the Clippers, especially if the team managed to lure either Kawhi Leonard or Jimmy Butler.
Both swingmen are also pending free agents the Clippers are also reportedly going to pursue in the summer.
Forming a new legitimate contender in the East with either Leonard and Kawhi while also challenging his old partner in LeBron James for basketball relevancy in La La Land could entice Irving just enough to look for a new place in downtown Los Angeles.
1. New York Knicks
The likeliest destination seems to be New York, which also happens to be an hour’s drive from West Orange where Irving grew up. They are also capable of signing two top-tier free agents to max contract but unlike the Clippers, the Knicks are favorites to land Kevin Durant, who is also a potential free agent this summer.
Irving and Durant have a strong relationship and are reported to be constantly texting each other this season. New York is the biggest market in the world and the two of them together would instantly make the Knicks contenders. Add in a potential No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft to acquire Zion Williamson and the possibilities are endless.
The NBA free agency period has become a spectacle of its own. The hype over the destination of each pending free agent that snowballed through the duration of an entire season blow up every summer, and this year is no different.
Among those players who could hit the open market is Kyrie Irving, whose free agency decision this 2019 highlights another thrilling and narrative-filled NBA offseason.
Aside from NBA free agency updates, you can also read other pieces on Nitrogen Sports Blog, including a sports betting guide that can be very useful, especially to new bettors.