So the Celtics clearly lacked a closer Game 7 against the Cavs, maybe if Kyrie was available the whole series the Cavs don’t even make the Finals but it wasn’t the case so let’s move on. Does anyone notice Kyrie Irving only has 1 year left on his contract and the Celtics were a game away from making the NBA Finals without him? Rozier knows his place and even said he has no problem taking a backseat to Kyrie next season but would it shock anyone if Kyrie gets traded this summer or by the trade deadline next season?
Danny already saw it wasn’t worth re-signing Isaiah Thomas, he dodged
that bullet and now Isaiah Thomas would be lucky to get a 3 year offer from any NBA franchises. He’s approaching 30 and who knows if he ever comes back the same player? Or was he ever that good or did he just benefit from Stevens’s system where everything was ran through him. Back to Kyrie Irving though who is a top 5 point guard in the NBA arguably top 3 depending how you want to look at it. After all he did lead Boston to the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and they were on pace for 60-65 wins had he never opted for knee surgery.
He has been injury prone for most of his career and the knee issue has been bugging him ever since December 2015. The Cavaliers probably missed out on an NBA title 2015 against the Warriors, most would think had he been healthy the Cavaliers would have been 2015 NBA Champions. If you are Danny Ainge do you re-sign Kyrie Irving? He’s more than likely going to see a max contract and if I was had to bet my mortgage money Kyrie Irving will not be a Celtic beyond next season or maybe not even for the start of next season.
Danny Ainge is after a defensive anchor, although Al Horford has played up to his potential and has earned every cent of his 4 year contract he is not a permanent center nor is he a defensive anchor. Their is one in the 2018 NBA Draft though, his name is Mohammed Bamba. Danny has his eyes set on drafting the 7 foot monster with a wingspan which rivals Giannis’s. Bamba can no doubt be an elite protector at the next level and Danny’s got to be thinking about just how dominant Bill Russell was for he Celtics through their historic run where Russell won 11 rings. Not saying Bamba will be Bill Russell but you’ve got to see Danny’s vision.
No disrespect to Kyrie Irving he is an elite talent and arguably the best player in the league with the ball in his hands, but when his shot is not falling he’s pretty much useless and he’s a liability on the defensive end and not the most athletic guard to add on to it. Maybe he considers taking a discount to stay with the Celtics but quite honestly if you are Kyrie and you can secure a max contract from another franchise, you take it which means if another team outbids Ainge for Kyrie next summer he is as good as gone.
On paper with Kyrie and Hayward coming back next season and the continued development of soon to be franchise cornerstone Jayson Tatum the Celtics could very well be favorites for the NBA title next season. But like I said do we not expect a few NBA franchises to offer Kyrie Irving a max contract? Absolutely, he’s worth the risk for any team looking to fill in their arena because Kyrie Irving’s style of play is absolutely fascinating to watch but the Celtics were still good enough to make a Conference Finals without him. Just adding Hayward next season with Tatum’s ascension should be enough to get them in the Finals next season with or without Kyrie.
I think Danny is focused on building a defensive powerhouse, and if he could get his hands on Bamba he might look to move Kyrie and a combination of picks for Kawhi Leonard to take over he Eastern Conference for the next 6-7 years and possibly the NBA. We’ll see what happens but don’t bank on Kyrie sticking around too much longer in Boston.