3 thoughts on Boston Celtics as a destination for Kyrie Irving
The Boston Celtics are not on a short list of teams Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving listed as destinations, but a former Cavs exec doesn’t believe they are completely out of the running.
Just when you thought any possibility of Kyrie Irving joining the Boston Celtics were dead, former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin threw some fuel on the smoke on Monday.
While trade rumors for the 25-year-old disgruntled star has been brushed off as ludicrous, Griffin’s comments would lead one to believe the Celtics as a destination is not far- fetched.
Back in July, Irving gave the Cavaliers front office four desired landing spots. The New York Knicks of all teams has emerged as his rumored preferred destination. Boston wasn’t even on that short list.
But, Griffin had his own thoughts and shared his knowledge of the situation on Monday’s episode of ESPN’s “The Jump.”
“I think Kyrie’s going to end up being traded,” Griffin said. “He went to Dan Gilbert privately, told him that he thought he would be happier somewhere else…Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did.”
As Irving’s drama with teammate LeBron James have taken center stage this offseason, the Celtics were one of the teams who called about the star. Griffin, who didn’t offer an opinion as to where he thinks Irving will end up, didn’t rule out Boston for one main reason.
“This is a guy whose list included really good coaching situations: Brad Stevens, [Gregg] Popovich,” he explained. “I see this as looking for a fit for himself to take the next step in his career.”
Griffin went on to mention how potentially teaming up with a Gordon Hayward or Kawhi Leonard could make Boston or San Antonio ideal destinations. Playing alongside those players could help him define where he is in his career.
I have three thoughts on Griffin’s take and the possibility of Irving wearing green.
Boston has the assets
While I don’t believe for a second the Cleveland Cavaliers would trade Kyrie Irving to Boston, the Celtics make the most sense as far as what they can get in return.
With the likelihood of James departing after next season, the Cavs could quickly end up in re-build mode. As we all know, the Celtics have the young players and they have a stash of future picks that could entice Cleveland.
The only downside is a trade may require throwing Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum into the package. Both players are still unknowns in the league, but I would rather see them grow in Boston.
Another possibility is throwing in Isaiah Thomas or Marcus Smart (or maybe both). Both of those players are entering contract years. With Thomas publicly telling the team they need to bring the brinks truck, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge may feel it’s time to get something for Thomas.
Irving would be more than ideal.
A Hayward, Irving and Horford big three
As much as fans love Isaiah, as much as I love No. 4, a scorer like Kyrie Irving to go along with Hayward and Al Horford would make the Boston Celtics better in my opinion.
A Thomas for Irving swap would also add some very high drama to an already intense Cavaliers/Celtics rivalry.
Again, don’t see this happening at all, but the idea of it is intriguing as I believe Brad Stevens could get something out of Irving that he has yet to unleash in Cleveland.
More from Chowder and Champions
- New England Patriots: But who will protect Mac Jones?
- Caesars Massachusetts Offers $1,250 Bonus for NBA Finals OR Stanley Cup Finals!
- Why Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney deserve the GM of the year
- Boston Red Sox: Masataka Yoshida hitting his way to All-Star status
- Red Sox sloppy defense woes continue; Chris Murphy impresses in debut
On the flip side, Isaiah Thomas has become one of the model athletes in Boston. The heart he showcased in the playoffs following the death of his sister made me a bigger fan. I’d like to see how he plays alongside a scorer like Hayward before considering any kind of trade or letting him walk in free agency.
When things get tough…
How would Kyrie Irving deal with the Boston media or criticism from fans. As much of a talent he is, if he doesn’t live up to expectations, fans and media outlets will let it be known.
As we’ve seen with high-paid athletes like Pablo Sandoval, this is not a city that puts up with underachievers. Not to say Irving would underachieve, but any player who demands a trade from a team (depending on the situation) is a red flag.
Then again, an atmosphere like Boston may be just what the doctor ordered for Irving. Under Stevens, he would have to do more than just score. He would have to lead and make those around him better.
That is something he hasn’t had the opportunity to do in his current situation, playing with the best basketball player in the world.
As unlikely and far-fetched of an Irving to the Boston Celtics trade is, it is an intriguing rumor. However, it is a rumor that is better served as just speculation.