Danny Ainge denies reports that Kyrie Irving has ‘ghosted’ Celtics
Amid the hustle and bustle of Thursday night’s NBA draft, Boston Celtics general manager and President of basketball operations Danny Ainge took time to deny reports that Kyrie Irving has “ghosted” the organization after opting out of the final year of his contract.
“Kyrie’s been good. He’s returned calls,” Ainge told NBC Sports Boston late Thursday night during a post-draft interview. “He’s returned messages. He’s been excellent…”
The latest buzz surrounding the mercurial point guard is that Irving has designs on signing with the Brooklyn Nets, though subsequent reporting suggests the interest may not be mutual depending on other conditions.
Still, Ainge’s insistence that Irving has been in communication with the Celtics throughout the process corroborates a report this week from The Athletic’s Shams Charania that indicated the same.
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
It merits noting that Ainge was publicly supportive of Irving throughout a season where the superstar’s enigmatic ways contributed to a dysfunctional campaign that ended in postseason disappointment.
There still remains a possibility, however slim, that Irving could decide to re-up with the Celtics in free agency, which might help explain Ainge’s continued defense of Irving. Whether it’s accurate or not that Irving is indeed being communicative and candid with the Celtics organization, however, is arguably only known by the involved parties.