BOSTON -- Kyrie Irving remains non-committal on his future with the Celtics beyond his current contract, which could be up after this upcoming season.
But at this point, all indications are that it won’t lead to a reunion of sorts with his former teammate LeBron James.
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“I am truly grateful to speak with management as well as our coaching staff,” Irving said. “We pretty much have open dialogue with the direction we’re going in and we all feel confident that we all have something to offer here. The fact that we’re even having those conversations and I’m a part of it, I’m thankful for.”
So I asked Irving about that having that level of rapport with management, especially in a summer when there are rumors about James coming to Boston.
“It puts things at ease,” said Irving, who added that he and Celtics’ brass have had no talks about James potentially coming to Boston. “Obviously, the speculation … it’s inevitable. So, you don’t really try to control that narrative. You try to focus on what’s important, what we need for going into next year, how being aware of who we have now, what we’re capable of, the things that we need to kind of fix or get done, and go from there.”
While there have been no talks among Irving and the Celtics in relation to James, Irving knows all too well how quickly things can change.
On July 10, 2014, Irving signed a five-year, $90.3 million max deal with Cleveland. The deal was viewed by most as cementing Irving’s status as the face of the franchise for years to come.
And then two days later, LeBron James decided he wanted to return to Cleveland, which signed him to a two-year, $42.2 million deal.
Just like that, James was back in control of the franchise while Irving was relegated to being the team’s No. 2 option.
Despite winning an NBA title in 2016, Irving had grown weary of the enormous shadow cast over him by James and the Cavs, and demanded a trade last summer.
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Boston acquired Irving in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a pair of draft picks.
Regardless of what conversations have or not have taken place yet, the question that remains a mystery for many is whether Irving could, in fact, play with James again, here in Boston?
“In this business, I’ve kind of experienced it all,” Irving said when asked about reuniting with James. “I’ve seen a lot, so . . . we’ll see what management [does].”