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Report: Nets plan to pursue Kyrie Irving in 2019 free agency

Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, left, drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, in New York. The Celtics won 87-85. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)


Kyrie Irving has left plenty of room for speculation about his future with the Celtics beyond next season. He can become an unrestricted free agent in 2019, and an extension before then is untenable.

So, other teams see Irving as more attainable than some other star 2019 free agents. Though he has been most commonly linked to the Knicks, New York’s other team is also interested in the point guard who grew up in New Jersey.

Marc Stein of The New York Times in his newsletter:

But there are nonetheless credible rumblings in circulation that the Nets plan to pursue Irving, right alongside the Knicks, should he become a free agent on July 1, 2019.

Of course Brooklyn wants Irving. Every teams wants young stars like Irving.

But many teams won’t waste their time in what they believe will be a fruitless effort. That word is already spreading about their pursuit of Irving suggests the Nets are serious about it.

If they want a leg up, they could also chase Jimmy Butler. Butler reportedly wants to play with Irving, a friend. Though there’s real risk in paying Butler, an excellent player but one who carries major mileage and will turn 30 before playing on his next deal, it’s far more palatable if Irving comes with him.

Brooklyn could clear cap space for two max free agents.

Right now, it’s just a plan – one many teams share – but that’s a step toward turning it into reality.