Celtics

Should this Kyrie Irving-Kevin Durant video really worry Celtics fans?

Should this Kyrie Irving-Kevin Durant video really worry Celtics fans?

Are you an NBA conspiracy theorist living in New York? Boy, do we have the video for you.

NBA reporter Ben Stinar shared a 24-second clip Monday morning of Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving having an animated discussion with Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant in the tunnel of Charlotte's Spectrum Center at 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend.

We don't know when exactly the video was recorded. We can't hear what Irving and Durant are saying. But at one point, Kyrie holds up two fingers to KD.

And that's all Knicks fans needed to see.

The Knicks just freed up two maximum contract slots by trading Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks before the deadline. Irving and Durant both are unrestricted free agents this summer, and both have been tied to New York in free agency.

So, Kyrie is clearly urging KD to join him and sign with the Knicks, right?

We can see why people are drawing this conclusion. The two close friends and USA Basketball teammates spent a lot of time together at All-Star Weekend, and both have unclear futures: After promising Celtics fans he'd re-sign in Boston, Irving recently told reporters to "ask (him) July 1" about his pending free agency, while Durant may seek a new challenge after three seasons in the Warriors' dynasty.

But what if Irving is pitching Durant on signing in Boston? What if he's telling his buddy about the two additional first-round picks the Celtics have in the 2019 NBA Draft? What if he's urging Durant to join an established title contender with a bright future instead of a dysfunctional franchise that's about to miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season?

The point is that there are many ways to interpret and dissect a random hallway conversation between two friends. They could be plotting to alter the NBA landscape by bolting for New York ... or they could be discussing dinner plans. ("Two appetizers for the price of one!")

Considering Irving's penchant for unpredictability, it's still way too early to draw conclusions about his future, regardless of what bread crumbs may appear. He could actually want to sign with Durant in New York today, then do a complete 180 after the Celtics rally for a deep postseason run.

So, if you hear a Knicks fan gloating about a Kyrie-KD power duo at Madison Square Garden, go ahead and remind them not to count their chickens before they hatch.

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Bulpett: Celtics and Al Horford have discussed contract extension

Bulpett: Celtics and Al Horford have discussed contract extension

Now that Anthony Davis is off the market, the next item on the Celtics' offseason to-do list is Al Horford's player option. By this upcoming Tuesday (6/18), Horford must decide whether to pick up his $30.1 million option to return to the Celtics for at least one more season or opt-out and hit free agency. 

The deadline can be moved back to June 29 at the latest if the both Horford and the Celtics agree, and Adam Himmelsbach reported Saturday that Horford remains undecided on his player option, so it's possible we have to wait to get a resolution to the 33-year-old's contract situation. 

However, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Horford and the Celtics have discussed a new contract if the big man opts out at a lower salary figure but with more years on the deal. 

Horford has until Tuesday to opt in to $30,123,015 for next season, but the sides have been discussing a plan where he comes in at a lower number next season and gets two more years tacked on in a new deal. It’s not known whether the way things have played out over the last couple of weeks will have an effect on Horford’s outlook.

What Bulpett might mean in the last sentence there is the 'eroding' belief that Kyrie Irving will re-sign with the Celtics, and Boston's choice to hold on to their young stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in Anthony Davis trade discussions. 

There is little question to whether Horford can still contribute to this Celtics team, with or without Irving, but at 33 he doesn't really fit the same contention window at Tatum and Brown would. If Horford wants to contend during the latter part of his career, he could opt in and request a trade or opt out and sign elsewhere. Danny Ainge considers Horford a priority for the Celtics this offseason, so the age factor might not matter for either party here. 

Davis and Irving were the biggest variables for the Celtics this summer, but Horford's situation will also have a major impact on the direction of this team. As is the theme with the 2019 NBA offseason, nothing is certain. 

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Reports: Celtics were open to including Jayson Tatum in Anthony Davis trade

Reports: Celtics were open to including Jayson Tatum in Anthony Davis trade

Not long after the news broke on the Pelicans agreeing to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, three first round picks and two pick swaps, Marc Stein reported that the Celtics refused to include Jayson Tatum in a potential trade package. This opened the door for LA to get LeBron James a legitimate running mate and form its strongest roster since the days of Kobe Bryant. 

It was understandable why the Celtics would refuse to include Tatum in a deal. For one thing, the team's belief in Kyrie Irving re-signing has reportedly 'eroded,' and Rich Paul had stated publicly that Davis would leave Boston next summer.  

But according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the Celtics weren't completely against including Tatum in a trade.

But in the current situation, that same source indicated that, contrary to reports, the Celts weren’t entirely closed to the idea of including Jayson Tatum in the deal, but that there wouldn’t have been much else included.

He then goes on to explain that when the Lakers offered a deal including three young players and a multitude of first round picks for Davis, the Celtics would in no way be willing to mortgage their future for a likely one-year rental. 

The notion of the Celtics' reluctance to offer a package with Tatum and a number of draft picks was reiterated by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne on Sunday as well. 

The Boston Celtics were serious about trading for Davis, as well. They were willing to discuss young, talented players such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, according to sources close to the negotiations. But the Celtics were never going to give up as much as the Lakers.

During ESPN's NBA Mock Draft special earlier this week, Adrian Wojnarowski said, "If the Lakers are drafting at No. 4 on draft night, they're in trouble because that means they didn't make an Anthony Davis trade. Right now, they are not a frontrunner or even really a major consideration among any of the elite free agents."

Based on these reports, it doesn't seem like Boston had a good chance at Davis while the uncertainty of Irving loomed. The Lakers had to make this deal, and they paid the price to get a top-five player in the world. Now we'll see how the Celtics rebound and try to get their contender status back if Irving does in fact leave. 

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