Do the Boston Celtics have reason not to take Kyrie Irving at his word?
Irving declared before the season began he planned to re-sign with the Celtics long-term. But a recent report suggested him staying in Boston isn't a done deal, while another hinted the All-Star guard is "genuinely interested" in reuniting with ex-teammate LeBron James.
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So, what to make of this scuttlebutt? The Athletic's Sam Amick shared his latest reporting on the Irving-James situation Thursday.
A source close to James said he would be open to the possibility of playing with Irving again, and even highlighted his well-chronicled history of reconciliation with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert as empirical evidence that he doesn’t hold grudges.
Nonetheless, the Lakers are not seen by Boston as a serious threat to steal Irving away.
Amick's report is a mixed bag: We now have sources in both camps (reportedly) insisting LeBron and Kyrie would be willing to play together, but the C's apparently aren't concerned by the possibility of their star player bolting to L.A.
Right now, the latter sentiment appears to be the stronger one. NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg noted those in the Celtics organization have "no reason to believe" Irving has changed his mind about staying in Boston, while a source characterized the Irving-James reunion as a "joke" to The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach.
It does seem unlikely Irving would rejoin James just two years after leaving Cleveland for the purpose of escaping LeBron's shadow. If the 26-year-old wanted the opportunity to be the primary leader on a talented team, he certainly has that in Boston.
As for those pesky rumors he'll sign with the New York Knicks in free agency, which should pick up after New York freed up two max contract slots in Thursday’s blockbuster trade? Irving should get the chance to address them himself when the C's visit Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
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