Where will Kyrie Irving land next season?
Photo Credit: USA Today
After verbally committing to the Boston Celtics in front of their home crowd last October, Kyrie Irving is now reportedly considering many different teams to play for next year.
Of course, there are still Celtics fans who still believe that Irving could hold up his promise to Boston, but with how he addressed the media on the topic down the stretch of the season, this seems unlikely.
When rumors first starting circulating, a popular take was that Irving would join his hometown team, the New York Knicks, with potential for Kevin Durant and Zion Williamson to make their way there next season. Ever since New Orleans got the number one pick, the possibility of them three playing together has been thrown out the window.
Despite a couple teams losing momentum to acquire Irving, his landing spots are still abundant with the Celtics, Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets all being possibilities for the 27-year-old point guard.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Irving is now “more open” to signing with the Lakers after having discussions with LeBron James this off season. That being said, it is hard to think that the current Lakers roster could last a long time with Irving.
After their rookie contracts are up, guys like Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Lonzo Ball will be looking for bigger and better contracts. If the Lakers were to sign Irving to a max deal, which is assumed, then they would have to shift their roster for upcoming years following next season.
In terms of joining a talented team, Irving’s best options are either Boston or Los Angeles, with the Nets being an up-and-coming team to keep an eye out for. If Irving were to re-sign with Boston, fans may be in store for another year of locker room controversy. But if he were to sign with L.A., the Lakers would immediately become contenders for the Western Conference with him and James having already won a championship together.
This is not to say that L.A. is a better choice than Boston, because Boston is definitely in a better place in terms their front office and talent. At the same time, Irving going to the Lakers could question his legitimacy as a leader after the way he left Cleveland. Going back with James could make Irving look bad after he stated that he wanted to run his own team. His decision will really just come down to how bad things were in the Celtics locker room last year. To the media, it does not look good, but only the Celtics players, staff and Irving have a real idea of where Irving’s head is at.
Although, Brooklyn does seem appealing for Irving, as they have managed to put together a young and talented team that has a promising future. D’Angelo Russell is performing at an all-time high at age 22, while Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert have shown they have what it takes to be great role players for a contending team. Brooklyn may be one star away for a run at the Eastern Conference, and that star could be Irving. The only problem is that Russell would have to move to shooting guard, and who knows if that would work out with the system Brooklyn ran last year.
The only team in the mix who really does not have any attraction talent-wise is the Knicks, but they are a big market with a lot of cap room, which is what could put them near the top of Irving’s list. If the Knicks were to land Durant in the off season before Kyrie’s decision, it could heavily influence Irving to come to New York. It is no secret that Durant and Irving are very close friends and it is no secret that they would dominate on the floor together.
Fans will have to wait and see where Irving goes, as there are pros and cons to each team. When you have a player like Irving a lot comes into play and that is what makes his destination next year hard to predict. There have been reports saying the Lakers, there have been reports saying the Nets, but at the end of the day it is going to come down to where Irving thinks he can win. Personally, the only thing that would surprise me is if he re-signs with Boston. Even though Irving re-signing is not completely off the table, I see Irving making his way elsewhere for 2019-2020 NBA season.