Report: Celtics ‘scared’ Kyrie Irving leaves the team in 2019, possibly for the Knicks

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It’s that time of the year folks, the insane rumor mill that puts every fan in constant anxiety. According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo, the Celtics are fearing 2019 as Kyrie Irving is set to become a free agent. As stable as Irving in Boston seems, I can see how things could get complicated from a business standpoint.

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“You know things can change. Obviously, you go to Boston and you become the face of the franchise. You’re on a winning team. Maybe the mindset has changed significantly?”

Yahoo’s Shams Charania replied: “I know Kyrie Irving’s mindset when the trade [from the Cleveland] happened was ‘Boston is my home for the foreseeable future.'”

Irving’s backup, Terry Rozier, can be an unrestricted free agent in 2019 and there’s been speculation about whether the C’s would keep Rozier, guard Marcus Smart – a free agent this summer – or both. A commitment from Irving will likely play into the decision on Rozier.

Kyrie will likely command at least a max deal for his upcoming free agency. By 2019, a super max might be in play due to the cap continuing to climb. That being said, would Ainge give Kyrie that kind of money with his knee problems?

Will Boston be able to give that kind of money if they give extensions to guys like Brown, Smart and Tatum? Kyrie’s future in Boston is certainly not secure for many years. But, I would say Boston has a better chance at bringing him back than the Knicks do a poaching him away. In the end, Ainge always has a trick up his sleeve — I wouldn’t be worried if I was a Celtics fan.