There’s no point in trying to understand exactly what is going through Kyrie Irving’s brain at any given moment, let alone what he’s going to want to do with himself a year from now when he can opt out of his deal with the Celtics and become a free agent. The buzz surrounding Irving of late has been about him possibly hooking up with his pal Jimmy Butler next season in New York.
But according to HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy all the Butler/Irving talk is not coming from Kyrie’s camp.
“There’s been the whole thing about him and Jimmy Butler wanting to team up,” Kennedy told host Adam Kaufman on the Celtics Beat Podcast on CLNS Media. “But from everything I’ve heard it seems like that’s coming more from Jimmy Butler, and Jimmy Butler wanting to play with Kyrie. Butler’s frustrated with the young guys in Minnesota like Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns, [but] you don’t really hear that Kyrie’s “disgruntled”.”
Generally speaking Kennedy thinks too much has been made of Kyrie saying he wasn’t interested in signing an extension with the Celtics this summer.
“I think a lot of people were overreacting to the news that Kyrie wasn’t signing an extension,” said Kennedy. “And I think that was a lot of casual NBA fans. The die-hard fans get it that it doesn’t make sense to sign an extension. You’re going to make more money if you just wait for free agency to re-sign. But I think when that headline, when it’s on SportsCenter, casual fans are like, ‘Oh he might leave.’ It’s one of those things.”
And if he were to leave Boston, Kennedy doesn’t think New York is necessarily the right fit for Irving, even though it would be a homecoming of sorts for the Northern New Jersey native.
“I think Kyrie’s in a great situation right now,” Kennedy said. “He is the man, which is what he wanted. He has a team that has a wide-open championship window as long as he stays and makes sure that he signs a long-term deal and continues to perform at the same level. A team like New York is so far away from contention. It’s not like New York is this really attractive situation that’s super tempting. Yeah, I understand he could go over there with another teammate, but I still don’t see it being more attractive than Boston.”
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