Mannix: Celtics “Scared” Kyrie Irving May Leave After This Season

Irving can opt out of his contract after this season and Mannix reports that the Knicks could be a possible landing spot.

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(12/31/2017- Boston, MA) After hitting a three pointer, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving vents in the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on Sunday, December 31, 2017. Staff Photo by Matt West

More uncertainty surrounding the future of Celtics star guard Kyrie Irving. Earlier this week on the Celtics Beat Podcast on CLNS, Celtics play-by play man Mike Gorman said he did not “think it’s a given” that Kyrie returns after next season. Today, Yahoo’s Chris Mannix piled on during his podcast saying the Celtics are “scared” Kyrie might bolt in free agency after this season.

“I think they’re scared. I think they’re scared and should be scared to some degree of Kyrie Irving walking in 2019,” said Mannix. “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.”

On the same podcast Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania rebutted Mannix’s statement.

“I know Kyrie Irving’s mindset when the trade [from the Cleveland] happened was ‘Boston is my home for the foreseeable future,” said Charania.

Irving can opt out of his deal with the Celtics after this season, and the expectation has always been that the C’s will then sign him to a five-year max contract worth over $200 million. That outcome seems less certain following Irvin’s season ending knee surgery in April.

Irving’s backup Terry Rozier, can become a free agent after the 2018-2019 season and his future is certainly tied to Kyrie’s as it would seem unlikely the Celtics could pay to keep both in Boston long term.

The recent uptick in news regarding Irving’s future with the Celtics also coincides with Stephen A. Smith reporting that LeBron James will talk to the Celtics during his free agency tour this summer. Based on the fact that Irving left Cleveland to get away from LeBron you can’t imagine he’d be too thrilled if James somehow ended up wearing green and white.