Celtics

Report: Some teams down on signing Kyrie Irving after rough series vs Bucks

Report: Some teams down on signing Kyrie Irving after rough series vs Bucks

While everyone has been focusing on which team Kyrie Irving should or will choose to play for once free agency begins on June 30, some teams have reportedly fallen out of love with the idea of signing the All-Star point guard to a big contract. 

According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, at least two teams are saying they will only go after Irving if they can land another big-time free agent first who wants to play with him. 

The most interesting bit of information from several sources that we’ve been able to consolidate and confirm is that some teams thought to have interest in Irving as a free agent are now a great deal more wary. Based on the way things played out with the Celtics this season and Irving’s role both off the court all year and on it in the playoff loss to Milwaukee, certain clubs are concerned about putting too many eggs in his basket right away.

Irving was not his usual self against the Bucks. He shot 35.6 percent from the field, 21.9 percent from three and averaged 3.6 turnovers per game compared to the 2.6 turnovers he averaged during the regular season. 

Much of that can be attributed to the Bucks, who have proven they are a juggernaut after blowing out the Raptors to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. But it seems the way Irving struggled on offense and how he let it negatively impact his effort on defense has resonated with teams who have the cap space to sign him. 

The 2019-19 season did not end how the Celtics or Irving expected it would. After declaring his commitment to the team before the regular season began, Boston's roller-coaster year could have changed his mind. 

If the Celtics want to want to pursue a trade for Anthony Davis, having Irving in the fold would seemingly be the linchpin in that plan. 

However, one executive told A. Sherrod Blakely that it's possible Irving is, "Playing all of you guys right now," and will return to the Celtics once he gets a chance to look at all of his options. 

If this report is true, Irving's options may be dwindling.

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Dallas report pegs Celtics as frontrunner to land Kemba Walker in NBA free agency

Dallas report pegs Celtics as frontrunner to land Kemba Walker in NBA free agency

Kemba Walker will be one of the most coveted NBA free agents available when teams can start agreeing to contracts with players Sunday night, and the Boston Celtics reportedly have serious interest in signing the Charlotte Hornets point guard.

But how likely is Walker to come to Boston?

Dallas Morning News reporter Brad Townsend tweeted Wednesday a list of the most likely destinations for Walker, citing a league source, and the Celtics are at the top.

The New York Times' Marc Stein reported Tuesday the Celtics and Dallas Mavericks are at "the front of the line" trying to lure Walker to a new team. The Mavericks reportedly are 'confident' about their chances of landing Walker, but his score-first style isn't really what Dallas needs from its next starting point guard.

The Celtics likely would be a good fit for Walker, and they will need a new starting point guard if Kyrie Irving bolts for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, which recent reports and the latest betting odds suggest is a likely scenario. Boston could re-sign restricted free agent Terry Rozier and make him the team's next starting point guard, but Walker is without question a better player.

Walker averaged a career-high 25.6 points per game and was named an All-Star starter for the first time last season. He's spent his entire eight-year career with the Hornets, but Charlotte isn't anywhere close to being a legit contender in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets can, however, offer Walker more money and term on his next contract. 

Can the Celtics sell Kemba Walker on Boston?>>>

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NBA Rumors: Knicks expected to meet with Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard

NBA Rumors: Knicks expected to meet with Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard

Remember when Stephen A. Smith gave the New York Knicks a 95 percent chance of landing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant?

Let's just say those chances have diminished.

The Athletic's Frank Isola reported Wednesday that the Knicks are expected to meet with Durant and Kawhi Leonard after free agency begins June 30, then move on to meet with "second tier free agents."

Guess who isn't mentioned in Isola's tweet? Irving, who everyone expects to leave the Boston Celtics in free agency this summer.

That's not to say the Knicks are out on Irving. The New Jersey native reportedly is one of three free agents (Durant and Leonard being the others) to whom New York would offer a maximum contract. Irving reportedly has expressed interest in playing with Durant, so if the Knicks sign KD -- who is expected to miss the entire 2018-19 season due to an Achilles injury -- that might be enough to lure Kyrie, as well.

But Isola not mentioning Irving on New York's free-agent meeting list as an ominous sign, especially amid reports that the cross-town Brooklyn Nets have emerged as the All-Star guard's "preferred" destination.

In any case, the Celtics appear braced for Irving's departure, as they're reportedly a serious suitor for point guard Kemba Walker in free agency.

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