Due to that and rumblings that Irving wants to team up …

Due to that and rumblings that Irving wants to team up with Jimmy Butler, the New York Knicks already lead the race as Kyrie’s potential team of choice, according to ESPN’s Summer Forecast. ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz maintains that the Celtics and Irving have a mutual understanding of where their relationship is. “My best intel is that the Celtics and Kyrie have a pretty good mutual understanding that he wasn’t going to get traded in the offseason and that there are long-term aspirations for both parties,” said Arnovitz. “Anything can happen over the course of an eight-month season, but I kind of like him staying.”

More on Kyrie Irving Free Agency

A year out from what could be an enormous 2019 free agency in the NBA, there are rumors about the next potential super-team. Two league sources told Business Insider that there is a buzz about the Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving and the Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler teaming up next summer, with one source saying the chatter is "substantial." Both sources also said the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could be well-positioned to land the two players if they are indeed keen on teaming up.
Kyrie Irving’s intentions are not at all clear at this point. There have been no firm indications from Irving or his camp that the All-Star guard is eyeing an exit from Boston next summer or that he’s angling to go to New York — as is often speculated. But there are nonetheless credible rumblings in circulation that the Nets plan to pursue Irving, right alongside the Knicks, should he become a free agent on July 1, 2019.
Boston hasn't included Jaylen Brown, sources say. As I wrote here, it might make more sense to offer Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward before Brown, but I don't see either happening. Boston is confident it can re-sign Irving despite chatter -- credible chatter -- that Irving and Jimmy Butler would like to play together, per league sources. They've earned such confidence.
Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Kemba Walker are among those expected to be free agents that summer. According to ESPN's Chris Haynes, the Knicks were among the teams Irving wanted to be traded to last summer. Several executives expect Irving to give the Knicks consideration next summer if he tests free agency, per ESPN's Ian Begley.
Q. Kyrie Irving is going to be a free agent after the upcoming season. Obviously, he requested a trade from his previous team. Did you ever sit down with him to see what he wants in a basketball environment? Brad STEVENS: Yeah, we talk all the time about that stuff. But I think at the end of the day one of the things that he was really consistent with was he wanted to be in a situation where everybody was excited about the opportunity to compete to win. He came from a winning situation and he came from a situation where they were able to win a championship. And I think like anybody else he wants that feeling again. But I got the impression he really enjoyed it here. I know the end of the season was really hard for him. It would be hard for anybody. But he’s been great.
Irving admits it could be one of the big challenges he faces this season. “I think just hearing the balance, it’s just a ways away, man,” Irving said Monday morning in a movie roundtable with a handful of New York basketball writers. “But [the hype] is already starting. As long as I could just divide the attention up and it just doesn’t infiltrate what I’m focused on during the season then I’m cool with it.”
Q: Talking about July 1, you’ve never been an unrestricted free agent. Are you looking forward to that process? Kyrie Irving: It could be a process. Or, even considering that time it seems like a long ways away. So, it’s just like — you’ve definitely seen it, observed it, other players have gone through it. At the end of the day, you just can’t let anything infiltrate exactly where your focus is. A lot of your attention could be distracted in other areas. And we’ve seen things — our platform now, in terms of what the NBA entails, they could just draw one word and sentences start becoming whole diatribes of what he actually meant.
At a Q&A to promote his upcoming movie, Uncle Drew, Kyrie Irving answered some questions about basketball. He said he's already heard from Knicks fans - and fans of other teams - about his free agency in 2019. Irving, who stars as Uncle Drew in the movie, says he's heard from fans on social media and in public who've talked to him about his free agency. "It's already starting," said Irving, whose movie will be released on Friday. "As long as I could just divide the attention up and it just doesn't infiltrate what I'm focused on during the season than I'm cool with it."
How confident are you that you’ll be a Celtic long term? Kyrie Irving: We have an incredible organization. I think we’ve positioned ourselves for the future, and we’re taking steps in the right direction. I’ve been transparent with [Celtics general manager and president of basketball operations] Danny Ainge. Transparent with the ownership of what my intentions are going into this season. And after the season, what conversations are going to be needed to have in order for us to get on the same page. What I really want, which is to bring our team, all of us together, to a championship with us all being healthy. That’s where my focus is, and when that time comes, I’ll be ready to answer.
Irving created a bit of a stir this week when he declined to state his desire to re-sign with the Celtics after next season. A league source said Friday that the Celtics believe Irving is happy in Boston and would like to be with the team long-term, but that there are no certainties.
Same applies with this summer’s free agency and the ensuing trade deadline. There have been enough opportunities punted away for fantasy. Don’t draft Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan because Clyde Drexler is already on the roster. With that being said, the Knicks have taken the right approach by, according to sources, targeting free agency in 2019. It’s simply a product of circumstance. They are positioned to have cap space and it just so happens Kyrie Irving will be a free agent.
Kyrie Irving can be a free agent in 2019 and the Boston Celtics may retain Terry Rozier until they receive a commitment from Irving. Rozier is scheduled to be a restricted free agent in 2019 as well. "I think they're scared," said Chris Mannix. "I think they're scared and should be scared to some degree of Kyrie Irving walking in 2019. I know he had a great year, but you know there are people in Cleveland that will tell you that the Knicks should be considered a real threat for Kyrie Irving. Because Kyrie had talked about it, about playing with the Knicks with some players in that Cleveland locker room from what I was told.
Knicks fans can only dream Irving will bring his talents to the Garden when he’s a free agent in 2019 and the Knicks next have cap space. Irving put the Knicks (24-37) on his short wish list over the summer and said during All-Star weekend he told Kristaps Porzingis he’d “love to play with a big like you.” “Playing in the Mecca is always fun — it has a way of bringing out the best in people,” Irving said afterward. “It’s a hard matchup because a lot of people come to see the Knicks play. You just want to play well on a floor like this.”
Storyline: Kyrie Irving Free Agency
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