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Kyrie Irving committed to the Boston Celtics, but that was way back in October. Since then, he’s been less committed about his next free-agent destination, and suddenly, people are coming up with odds.
That includes the teams themselves.
And according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv and several others, the Brooklyn Nets have become the “odds-on” favorites to land Irving.
The Nets have reportedly agreed to trade Allen Crabbe and his expiring $18.5 million contract (and the No. 17 pick) to the Atlanta Hawks for Taurean Prince. That gave the Nets enough cap room to sign two maximum-salaried free agents. Irving will certainly be among those types in free agency this summer.
Irving has strongly been linked to the Nets, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting the sides share a “strong” mutual interest.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Stephan A. Smith said Irving has “given every indication” that the Nets are his preferred team. So now, rival teams are beginning to operate accordingly. Some have even gone as far as assuming Irving will end up in Brooklyn and they should turn their attention elsewhere.
Mostly, it is believed that the probability of Irving returning the Celtics is now low. Still others will say Irving hasn’t closed the door on anyone.
All we really now is that, for now, it is the Nets who are generating all the Irving buzz. But they should be careful. The Celtics generated similar buzz less than a year ago and look where they are today.
The NBA’s free agent negotiating period begins June 30.