Kyrie Irving spoke at length in February about the rumors that revolve around her future in the NBA. He called those whispers "unjustified comment," and reminded reporters that the decision to sign with a team would be his alone.
When asked if he was still planning to re-sign with Boston, the shipowner said, "Ask me July 1."
The comment has done nothing but cease in the following months. The frustrating season of the Celtics and the premature start of the playoffs raised even more questions about where Irving will go to make his trade next season, and one analyst suggests that the other Boston players would "help him pack" if he signed on to another part.
Irving can exercise a player option for the 2019-20 season, or reject it for free agency without restrictions. He has been linked to a movement, along with Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, to the New York Knicks. Other reports link him to a return to the side of LeBron James, this time with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The whispers will not stop until Irving signs a new contract, in Boston or another NBA destination. Free agency begins on July 1.
This is what the NBA experts say about the future of the shipowner:
Brian Windhorst, ESPN
In Irving signing with the Lakers.
As time passes here, I would have said that this is impossible for many months. But as time goes by here and there's a chance that Jason Kidd could be hired as the Lakers' coach, I think the possibility of Kyrie and LeBron getting together – that door, which was not bolted, has not been blocked and now it has opened … Even opening more for the day. And I say it just because I think it's on Kyrie's radar, it's on the Kyrie board. He has had discussions with people about playing for the Lakers.
Ramona Shelburne, ESPN
I can only see a world in which he goes to the Phoenix Suns, where that fits perfectly with him. Look, we tried this this year, where Kyrie is in a situation where he's trying to be a leader, he's trying to take a team to the next level, to a championship, it did not work. He could not do it. In any case, restore things where expectations are lower and can have a greater impact on culture. I know there has been a lot of discussion about the Knicks and there has been a discussion about the Nets. I really do not see how it fits into Brooklyn without them having to trade one of their defenses, right?
Frank Isola, Athletic
The Lakers have a better squad and the fourth overall selection. The pelicans can find an attractive deal with the Lakers. OR [New Orleans general manager David] Griffin can start having conversations with Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge, who has a young and talented squad as well as first-round picks to trade. Ainge, according to the sources, wants to re-sign Irving and believes that he will do so if the Celtics acquire Davis.
Stephen A. Smith, ESPN
In Irving rejoining James in Los Angeles
From what I have been told, it will not happen. I received a text message from people close to Kyrie's family, within an hour, since we were joking about this issue. Quote: "There's no way in hell I'm going to Los Angeles, I do not give a damn what anyone else says, please throw them out right now, please, he's not going to Los Angeles." That's what they say.
In Irving signing with the New York Knicks.
From everything I've heard in the past few days, Kyrie Irving is heading to New York City. Kyrie Irving heads to Madison Square Garden with Kevin Durant. The people in your inner circle are trying to bring the Nets into the mix, but clearly the destination is New York. Most likely it is MSG.
According to the people I've talked to, they put 95 percent chance that KD and Kyrie will come to New York next season. With those two personalities, people refuse to say 100 percent.
Jalen Rose, ESPN
Kyrie Irving is a type of player who dominates the ball and is isolated. They used to be the team where Al Horford, their center, guided them in assists. That was his style. Now they have chosen to give Kyrie the ball to take them home. He has shown that he can not be the best player in a contending team. He has finished in Boston. And are you ready for this? Your colleagues will help you pack.
David Aldridge, Athletic
I've heard that Davis would not completely rule out staying with the Celtics without Irving, but the odds of him reappearing in that scenario are significantly lower.