Celtics star Kyrie Irving can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kevin Durant on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors...
April 12, 11:28 AM:
Celtics president Danny Ainge said nothing that has transpired this season has changed his thinking that he wants to lock Irving up to a long-term deal, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, adding he thinks the Celtics beginning their playoff run may help Irving remember how close Boston was to making the NBA Finals last season.
"I don't think free agency is wearing on him," Ainge said. "I think that not being able to live up to expectations as a team is wearing on him more than that. But I feel like he's in a good place. And ending the season and starting the playoffs I feel like his mind is in a fresher place than it was a few weeks ago, and I'm looking forward to great things with Kyrie."
Though Irving had previously walked back his preseason intentions of re-signing a long-term deal with the Celtics by saying "Ask me July 1," Irving said this week he felt a lot of the questions he dealt with throughout this season were "a lot of bulls---.
"All you guys (media), all the questions -- everything that comes with it is just so irrelevant to what I do on the court and how hard I work every single day," Irving told reporters this week.
April 8, 7:38 PM:
Irving will reportedly grant an interview with the Lakers, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, when he hits free agency. Not only would the Lakers be competing with the Knicks to land Irving, but it would give him a chance to reunite with LeBron James.
Irving demanded a trade from the Cavaliers because of James' leadership prior to the 2017-18 season, however it wasn't until this past January when, amid the Celtics' struggles, Irving called James to apologize and reconcile.
March 11, 3:06 PM:
In a wide-ranging interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Irving apologized for the way he's handled himself at times.
Irving, whose actions in the locker room and on the bench with the Celtics have led to fodder about his future, said he wants to take responsibility.
"I just want to make sure this locker room understands who I am and what I represent," Irving said, among many other things.
March 4, 7:32 PM:
Irving has become more and more "disengaged and detached from those around the team," The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor wrote, and that feeling began last month amid the increasing rumors that Irving would leave Boston to go to the Knicks this summer.
Before a Knicks-Celtics game in February, Irving notoriously walked back his October comments, when he expressed his desire to re-sign a long-term deal with Boston, by telling reporters, "I don't owe anybody s---" and saying "Ask me July 1" about his impending free agency.
Feb. 20, 12:27 PM:
During a television interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Irving addressed what it's like to have everyone talking about him and his impending free agency, describing it as a "distraction."
"The talks don't stop. The talks follow the great players in the league, and I'm appreciative and grateful to be one of those great players in our league now," Irving said. "I've worked my way to get here, and honestly, all that goes with the free-agent talk is really a distraction.
"A lot of people don't realize on the outside that a lot of things that are said get into locker rooms. A lot of things that are put in headlines get into locker rooms. (The) media has broken up locker rooms, it's been done before. Like where, you say something and it's misinterpreted, and instead of addressing it with the person or individual like human interaction, you read it on your phone. You read it on a text - somebody says that, 'Hey, did you see what this person said about you?' and it's your teammate. And you're like, 'Wait, I didn't hear that.' Then you hold back, don't say anything to him and throughout the season it ends up coming out again.
"That's not the way life is supposed to go. It's a unique position, but I'm appreciative that I can have this understanding now. It's fun, but at the same time, goodness, it's energy-taxing."
Feb. 14, 12:47 PM:
The Celtics believe Klutch Sports, whose staff includes Anthony Davis' agent Rich Paul, spread rumors about Irving's potential interest in the Knicks after their blockbuster Porzingis trade cleared enough cap space for New York to land two max free agents, according to the New York Post's Justin Terranova.
Although the Celtics were interested in trading for Davis, they believe Paul's camp spread rumors to convince Davis' current team, the New Orleans Pelicans, that it wouldn't receive a significant trade offer in the offseason should Davis not want to sign a long-term deal with Boston.
Feb. 8, 12:05 PM:
Although Irving walked back his intentions to re-sign with Boston by saying "Ask me July 1" last Friday, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he believes the "engagement is still on."
"The way I viewed the situation is that I think a lot of people, because of Kyrie's announcement at the beginning of the year, thought that it was a marriage," Ainge said Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub. "And I think that it's more like an engagement. And we're going to get married on July 1st. ... In my individual conversations with Kyrie, we're still engaged but we really can't make those vows, sign that contract until July 1st."
Feb. 6, 10:26 AM:
The Celtics remain "cautiously optimistic" that Irving will re-sign with them after the season, though comments Irving recently made about being undecided as well as the looming threat of the Knicks have "shaken" the Celtics, reports Zach Lowe of ESPN.
Lowe notes that others around the league are far less confident about Irving remaining in Boston.
Feb. 1, 12:01 PM:
Irving walked back his comments from October about planning to stay with the Celtics, saying before a game against the Knicks that "At the end of the day, I'm going to do what's best for my career. ... I don't owe anybody s--t."
"Ask me July 1," Irving said about where he might end up when he hits free agency.
In October, Irving said he planned to re-sign a long-term deal with the Celtics, saying he wanted his No. 11 hanging in the rafters.