As Kyrie Irving and the Celtics watch the postseason from their homes, they will be unable to shake the sense of cosmic shift for the franchise. After the season Boston had, it is almost guaranteed that they will see some change.
Chances are, the change will start with their star point guard Kyrie Irving, who is due to leave via free agency this July. It was a flawed partnership form the jump, and the series against Milwaukee exposed that truth rather harshly. Assuming he leaves, who, then, might Boston bring in to replace him?
In a recent interview with EuroHoops, Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio admitted he will keep his options open this summer, making him an interesting candidate for the Celtics.
“There are a thousand possibilities, excluding the teams that have a starting point guard under contract who will remain there. Like Houston or Golden State. Then there’s Boston where you still don’t know if Kyrie Irving will be there. Or Charlotte with Kemba Walker. Things really don’t depend on you but on the other players. For example, if Kyrie Irving went to Utah, this wouldn’t be a possibility for me anymore. In the end, they choose first.”
Rubio is far from a perfect fit, but he might fare better than Kyrie. Rather than being a ball-stopping, isolation player, Rubio is a pass-first guard, meaning he should match the identity of the Boston play-style that worked so well for them in seasons past.
Pulling him away from Utah would be tough, but the Celtics have (arguably) the most optimistic future of any Eastern Conference team, and still have a lot to sell potential free agents. It will be interesting to see how hard they pursue Rubio, especially if they lose out on other top free agents.