The Celtics are "scared" of Kyrie Irving leaving when he reaches free agency next summer, Yahoo Sports' Chris Mannix says on his podcast, and the Knicks are a threat to sign Irving in 2019.
Mannix reiterated his comments first made on NBC Sports Boston's "Arbella Early Edition" from Wednesday (see above video).
In a discussion among Yahoo NBA writers about 24 minutes into the podcast, Mannix says of the Celtics: "I think they're scared. I think they're scared and should be scared to some degree of Kyrie Irving walking in 2019. 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.
"You know things can change. Obviously, you go to Boston and you become the face of the franchise. You're on a winning team. Maybe the mindset has changed significantly?"
Yahoo's Shams Charania replied: "I know Kyrie Irving's mindset when the trade [from the Cleveland] happened was 'Boston is my home for the foreseeable future.'"
Irving's backup, Terry Rozier, can be an unrestricted free agent in 2019 and there's been speculation about whether the C's would keep Rozier, guard Marcus Smart - a free agent this summer - or both. A commitment from Irving will likely play into the decision on Rozier.
Would the Celtics trade Irving if they can't sign him? As the voice of the Celtics, Mike Gorman, said this week on another podcast, under C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, no one is untouchable. Click here for the thoughts of Michael Holley, host of "Boston's Sports Tonight", on if Irving is with the Green for the long haul.