Report: Celtics preparing for ‘strong scenario’ of Kyrie Irving, Al Horford leaving in free agency
The Boston Celtics are reportedly preparing for a strong scenario that All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford will leave this summer in free agency, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Watch Stadium.
Irving will likely sign with the Brooklyn Nets, while Horford figures to command interest from multiple teams on the open market.
Irving has been communicative and forthright with top Celtics officials since the season ended, with private and public signals that he will leave the organization in free agency — likely for the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. https://t.co/EupfcYxhsg
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 18, 2019
The Celtics didn’t live up to expectations this season. Before the 2018-19 campaign started, Boston was the heavy favorite to win the Eastern Conference. The Celtics, however, were a dysfunctional team all season and never meshed, both on and off the court.
Boston lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the playoffs in five games. If Irving and Horford do leave, the Celtics’ roster will be headlined by Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart. Terry Rozier is a restricted free agent this summer, while Marcus Morris will enter unrestricted free agency.
Irving averaged 23.8 points and 6.9 assists during the regular season. The six-time All-Star shot 48.7 percent from the floor and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. Irving grew up in New Jersey and was a Nets fan as a kid.
Horford, meanwhile, put up 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season for the Celtics while shooting an efficient 53.5 percent from the field.
It looks like the roster in Boston is going to look a lot different in 2019-20.