With the Boston Celtics’ 2018-19 season coming to a bitter end, point guard Kyrie Irving remains up in the air regarding his free agency. Here are some backup plans if Irving leaves town.
Getting knocked out by the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo has certainly humbled the Boston Celtics. While regular season struggles could be shrugged off to a degree, an early playoff exit could force the entire organization to rethink it strategy for 2019-20.
Save for an astoundingly bad last four games of the postseason, point guard Kyrie Irving was the most consistent and brightest star on a star-studded team. Where mostly everyone else stumbled for prolonged stretches, Irving proved himself a superstar with a Second Team All-NBA selection.
Perhaps, unfortunately, the Celtics play this season just wasn’t enough to keep Irving’s interest in the 617. With the bright lights and cap space of the teams in New York, Brooklyn and Los Angeles loudly calling his name, it’s certainly conceivable Irving takes his dazzling brand of basketball elsewhere.
Boston should have reasonable confidence in Irving staying, but if Kyrie indeed does seek greener pastures, the Celtics need a plan B, C, D and so on until they can begin to fill the gaping hole he would leave.
There hasn’t been a team in recent memory sans LeBron James that lacked an elite point guard and won an NBA Finals. As it is the most important position in the game, the Celtics losing a player of Irving’s caliber and lacking cap space to sign one on the market would seriously hamper their ability to compete for championship in the immediate future. A stopgap who can facilitate the young C’s development and keep their heads above water is just about all they could ask for.
Here are some of Boston’s options to fill the 1 slot in the event of an Irving departure.