After a much-ballyhooed move from the Celtics for the Duke product to the Brooklyn Nets after a season where seemingly everything went wrong for Boston, Irving and new teammate Kevin Durant took the subsequent season to get healthy in preparation for a run at a title in what was supposed to be the Eastern Conference’s next superteam — and a redemption of sorts for the former Celtic. And early this season, they seemed every bit the juggernaut they’d hope to be under new head coach and collaborator Steve Nash.
And then, as it seems to with Irving, things went off the rails. Clashes with the media were just a prelude to his current crisis, an extended period of being absent without leave or explanation, followed by the surfacing of a video allegedly showing Irving partying maskless in the midst of a pandemic.
Out of respect for his former teammates who are still quite clearly friends, Celtics Wire has largely avoided Irving’s quirks with his new team, but now rumbles of a trade with fellow mercurial star guard James Harden that could potentially involve the one-time Cavs champion are starting to circulate.
The Rockets are sifting through finalists — Nets and 76ers — for a James Harden deal that could culminate quickly, with Brooklyn preparing an offer of all its future first-round picks and pick swaps, per sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 13, 2021
It’s unclear if Irving has stressed his relationship with Brooklyn enough to force such a move — or if teammate and superstar Kevin Durant would approve, nor if flipping one difficult, potentially COVID-19-flouting star for another is what the franchise wants (or needs).
But with that team and the Philadelphia 76ers reportedly in the mix for such a trade per the Athletic’s Shams Charania — Irving involved or not — it will impact Boston’s title odds should one of the two proposed landing spots become a reality.
For many Celtic fans however, there is more than small consolation that the fallout of rostering the floor general is no longer their issue to worry about.
At least internally with the team they follow.