Kyrie Irving’s future with Boston Celtics up in the air

Getty Image

Getty Image

Green Teamers were some of the first to chide James when he evacuated Dan Gilbert's dumpster fire for Miami that summer, only to see James put the nail in the Big Three's coffin with a gentleman's sweep of the Celtics in 2011 and a 45-point coming-out party in the Garden in a career-defining Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals a year later. He didn't like the fact that he was the second option on the team behind LeBron James, and felt like he was undervalued by the Cavaliers coaching staff and management.

Irving, who missed the end of the regular season and the entirety of the Celtics' playoff run due to injury, said he's "feeling good". Those are the questions the Celtics hope to answer next season, when Irving returns to Boston's young and exciting roster.

"My attitude is really just redemption next year, really integrating myself with our team again and really focusing on winning a championship", Irving told reporters Tuesday.

He doesn't want to talk about his contract extension - which he said would not make sense "contractually" or "financially" - he doesn't want to talk about his long-term plans with the Celtics, and he doesn't want to talk about the possibility of his former teammate LeBron James coming to Boston.

In that Game 7, the Celtics came up short despite an impressive defensive performance, putting together one of the worst offensive showings of the postseason.

However, Irving grew disgruntled in Cleveland. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum proved they were ready to win immediately. He averaged 24.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 49.1% from the floor and 40.8% from three point range.

Irving said that's a discussion to be had after the upcoming season. He is the priciest of the three, commanding 29 percent of the Celtics salary cap this year with a figure of $31.2 million. Of course the teams would, it would save them tens of millions of dollars and get star players under control earlier. No doubt. There is no other player in the National Basketball Association capable of playing at the level James does.

The NBA could be set for a huge shake-up in the league come July 1 when some of the league's best players could enter free agency. Trading two seasons of Hayward for one campaign with James is a worthwhile proposition.

Which team will LeBron James play for next season?

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