It’s expected that star point guard Kyrie Irving will opt out of his contract and become a free agent. There’s many teams with max cap space available, so Kyrie will have a lot of options to choose from, but the list of realistic teams that have a shot isn’t that long.
Here are the five teams that have the best chance of landing one of the top point guards in the game.
Los Angeles Lakers, +500 - Big market, tons of money to upgrade the current roster and some guy named LeBron James. Word is that Kyrie and LeBron already patched up their issues and have a new level of respect for one another after the rough patches in Boston. If Kyrie truly felt the pressure of leading a team and is a better No. 2 option, there’s no better place than Los Angeles considering the alpha male is somebody he already has chemistry with. If I had to pick right now, I’d side with Kyrie going to LA and trying to reignite that flame with the best player in the world. Relationships matter.
Brooklyn Nets, +300 - The Brooklyn Nets were a competitive playoff team this year and have money to upgrade if they’re willing to let D'Angelo Russell and others walk. While the word is that Russell is a priority this offseason and he’s coming off a tremendous season, I’m sure most GMs would take Kyrie if given the choice. This move allows Kyrie to stay in New York without the added pressure of playing in the mecca. For somebody who didn’t seem thrilled about having to talk to the media or lead a team, playing for the little brother may be more attractive. It’s also a better win now option than the Knicks if the rosters don’t change much.
New York Knicks, +200 - There’s been constant rumors that Kyrie is going to the New York Knicks and will bring Kevin Durant with him. While it sounds good and the money is there to make it happen, the Knicks last big free agent signing was Amar'e Stoudemire. It’s one of those things I have to see to believe, especially in this era where the media drives these narratives and they’re so often wrong. It makes sense for Kyrie with him being able to stay close to home, able to play in a big market and lead his own team. I just won’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen and Knicks fans continue to drown in their sorrow.
Los Angeles Clippers, +800 - The Los Angeles Clippers made the playoffs as an eighth seed and managed to take two games from the Golden State Warriors. Most of the Clippers best players are being paid on the cheap and there’s oodles of money left over to seriously add to an already intriguing roster. A playmaking point guard like Kyrie could bring the best out of Montrezl Harrell, Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac, and it would certainly take pressure off of Lou Williams to be the only pure scorer. Things get even more interesting if Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard or Durant decide to hop on board (Players who have all been rumored to go to Los Angeles at some point). The Clippers are in better shape than the Lakers and share the same building. This is a move to strongly consider if you’re Kyrie.
Boston Celtics, +325 - I don’t see Kyrie returning to the Boston Celtics. Kyrie wasn’t happy most of the time you saw him this season, he was horrible down the stretch as if he already wanted out and a loaded roster failed to reach expectations. There was clearly things going on off the court that impacted the play on the court. This is a divorce that clearly needs to happen, and most Celtics fans would agree. The only reason a return to Boston is still an option is because the Celtics can offer the biggest contract. However, Kyrie is somebody who moves to the beat of his own drum and his happiness is more important than a few extra dollar signs. That won’t be enough for Kyrie to return.