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It seems the NBA's saddest franchise has set its eyes to the northeast with envy yet again, coveting Kyrie Irving ahead of his free agency next summer.

I won't say it's out of the question given some of the more head-scratching moves high-profile players have made of late, but the furor, re-ignited by J.R. Smith's social media ramblings (or perhaps status updates?) has been simmering after photos and videos of Irving spending time with Kevin Durant and other non-Celtics NBA stars have popped up recently.


Add to that the drama of Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves (who seem more interested in getting coach Tom Thibodeau's old Chicago Bulls squad back together than constructing a modern team), and we're near peak summer speculation mode in the absence of concrete news to report on.

MassLive's Tom Westerholm put together an excellent list of rebuttals to this notion which I won't outdo, so I will simply quote him:

"- He wanted to be a No. 1 option when he requested a trade from Cleveland, and he was/is/will be in Boston.
- The Celtics are championship contenders, and they will continue to be for quite some time, given their roster construction and future prospects.
- Irving could be an icon in Boston, particularly if he stuck around and especially if he won championships. A six-year run in Boston with one title (or multiple titles) would likely mean Irving would be the last player to wear the No. 11 for the Celtics.
- Assuming health, the Celtics would certainly pay him max money (like every other team).
- Gordon Hayward is his pal, and he seems genuinely excited to play with him."

And the reasons he might leave, according to Tom? New York is an amazing place for creative types like Irving, and he's a hard dude to read, to paraphrase - and he's right. That's not enough to get me worried just yet, but I won't cast aspersions on those who'd consider that enough to fret over, either.

What do you think? Offseason article fodder, legitimate concern, or somewhere in the middle? Let us know in the comments below.

For more stories by Justin, click here.



Image: Brian Babineau/NBAE 
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 9/16/2018 02:55:00 PM Edit
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