Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James could end up at the Golden State Warriors or Boston Celtics next season, albeit it's a "slim chance" according to reports. "I think that's the exciting part about all this is that when you're shaping up to gear up to be a championship-caliber team for years to come - which I think Danny [Ainge] has echoed for a little bit".
They're technically right too.
Those are the questions the Celtics hope to answer next season, when Irving returns to Boston's young and exciting roster.
"I think it's only natural to think about [if Irving was still here]".
"I'm on the floor doing some running activities, but I'm not running on the treadmill or anything like that", Irving said.
"Management and I will have a talk, but that talk won't happen now", he said.
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. Ownership and management, they're going to feel what's best for our future, and I'm fully supportive of it.
Irving said that's a discussion to be had after the upcoming season.
"You don't really try to control that narrative", he said. "So I'm excited to just really utilize this offseason to dedicate myself to my craft and things outside of it". As Real GM's Keith Smith points out, Irving signing an extension instead of a new contract next summer would cost him about $80 million. The identity of our team was forming at that time at the All-Star break and to kind of have something like that unexpected, it was hurtful, because a lot of what I wanted to accomplish with our guys and individually as one of the leaders of the team kind of had to take a rest, and I had to really be an outsider looking in from that standpoint. They passed a lot of expectations and I couldn't be more proud of them.
The good takeaway from that reply is that Irving has his sights set on competing for a title with the Celtics next year. He lives in the now, and knows it's not in his best interest to give up his only leverage with Boston come next summer.