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Where Will Kyrie Irving Play Next Season?

Kyrie Irving Free Agency Betting Odds May 9

In any NBA superstar’s career, there will be ups and downs that could define their future with their team but if you’re Kyrie Irving, your future with the Boston Celtics is very much in doubt. The point guard has been, for lack of a better word, “guarded” about his future with the Celtics, which is why oddsmakers have already placed the New York Knicks as the favorite to land him in free agency this summer.

Online sportsbook Bovada has listed the Knicks at EVEN odds followed by another team in the Tri-State, the Brooklyn Nets (+250), with the remaining teams on the list being the Celtics (+290), Los Angeles Lakers (+350), Los Angeles Clippers (+1100) and the Dallas Mavericks (+1600) to round out the field. 

Let’s look at his potential suitors and project how Irving’s free agency will shake out in July:

Too Much Smoke To Dismiss The Knicks and Nets

You don’t need to do much research on the internets to find out that Kyrie Irving grew up in New Jersey and has mentioned in interviews about how it would be cool to play in the Tri-State area. Is that enough to bank on him going to the Nets or Knicks? Hell, no! That being said, there is much more appeal to going to the Knicks than the Nets because of the potential roster that could be put on the floor with Irving at point guard.

The Knicks have two max salary slots for free agents and have the third overall pick in the draft, which means they could pair Irving and another free agent (ahem, Kevin Durant) with a top-end prospect. They also have other foundational players like Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson to fill out their starting lineup and if this was all to come to fruition, the Knicks would instantly become a top-three team in the Eastern Conference.

I don’t buy the Nets because they already have a nice young core of D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert for their guards and would likely rather invest their cap space for a standout player on the wing. The Nets rebuilt this franchise from the ground up and I don’t see them bringing in a player like Kyrie, who may sour those players’ development. I would dismiss any possibility of him going to the Nets at +250 and take the Knicks at EVEN instead.

Celtics and Irving’s Marriage Is Likely Over

The writing was on the wall during the regular season when Kyrie Irving was standoffish to the media about his intentions to re-sign with the Celtics and after four straight games of shooting less than 35 percent from the floor in the playoffs, his exit from Beantown is all but sealed. The media can be quite unforgiving in Boston and his boasting of his playoff prowess and how he could lead the Celtics’ younger players to the promised land feels quite hollow after his lackluster performance vs the Bucks.

The Celtics were one bad quarter away from making the NBA Finals WITHOUT Irving and Gordon Hayward during the 2018 playoffs and GM Danny Ainge knows a change is needed for this roster that was pegged to roll through the East in 2019. With point guard Terry Rozier waiting in the wings and the Celtics already having Marcus Smart signed long term, Boston has likely moved on from Irving so taking them at +290 would be a foolish bet.

Is La-La Land Calling for Irving?

The under-the-radar storyline throughout the NBA season was that Kyrie Irving and LeBron James seemed to have made amends after their fallout in Cleveland and could potentially pair up in Los Angeles with the Lakers. The Lake-Show swung and missed on other free agents during the offseason and pretty much blowtorched their season this year when every player on the Lakers roster, outside of LeBron, was linked in a potential Anthony Davis trade.

I’m not sold the Lakers will go that route because they still seem to be high on guard Lonzo Ball and Kyrie doesn’t seem to enjoy playing on a team when he can’t dominate the ball. Maybe things have changed and he’s had an epiphany from this playoff exit but at +350, the juice isn’t worth it when the Lakers have other areas of need like at center or another swingman who can dominate a game like Kawhi Leonard.

As for the Clippers, I just don’t buy it. They love Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and they already have a guard at a reasonable contract in Lou Williams who can make tough perimeter shots. They technically have two max salary cap slots so anything is possible but Kyrie strikes me as someone who is concerned about his legacy and playing for the Clippers doesn’t exactly move that needle compared to the other storied franchises in the NBA.

What do you think? Is Irving going to go to New York or will he head to the West Coast? Have your say in the comments.

What team will Kyrie Irving play for in the 2019-20 NBA season?

Odds as of May 22 at Bovada

  • New York Knicks EVEN
  • Brooklyn Nets +250
  • Boston Celtics +290
  • Los Angeles Lakers +350
  • Los Angeles Clippers +1100
  • Dallas Mavericks +1600

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