BOSTON - Now that the Toronto Raptors have been crowned NBA champions, the book has closed on the 2018-19 season and we're officially staring down the barrel of four month (give or take a couple days) off-season. The age of free agency is once again upon us.
Free agency is going to be a bit different this year than we thought, considering Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant are both expected to miss the entirety of the 2019-20 season due to injuries suffered during the NBA Finals, but there is still plenty of intrigue to be had. Chief among the free agents up for grabs is Kyrie Irving, who recently opted out of the player option he had for next season (a decision that was all but a foregone conclusion) who dropped his agent, Jeff Wechsler, in favor of ROC Nation Sports' representation.
In response to these moves, Danny Ainge has been scrambling to earn back Kyrie's affections. He's made comments about how Kyrie receiving the blame for the Celtics' disappointing season is "unfortunate," which points to how his Plan A was probably to unite Kyrie with Anthony Davis. But Kyrie is always unpredictable and it might be too little too late, as it's recently been reported that Irving is "prepared" to join the Brooklyn Nets once free agency officially begins. But Kyrie coming to Brooklyn would add a wrinkle, as the Nets have said they wouldn't keep D'Angelo Russell on the team, in the event they sign Irving.
Could Boston instead turn their attention to bringing Davis to the fold and Russell, to replace Irving at point guard? It would cost them some draft picks, but insiders have already reported that Ainge is uninterested in even more rookies joining the team. Whatever path the Celtics try to take, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that Irving will be a part of it.
Image via Wikimedia / Erik Drost