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Boston Herald: Sources say Kyrie Irving ‘preparing to join the Nets’

NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Closer still.

Nothing is official and in fact, nothing can be official for another two weeks when free agency begins, but the Boston Herald’s respected Celtic beat writer Steve Bulpett — he’s covered the Celtics for three decades— is suggesting Thursday that Kyrie Irving is headed to Brooklyn.

According to a source with ties to Roc Nation, the organization expected to become Irving’s new representative, the All-Star point guard is prepared to sign with the Brooklyn Nets when he becomes a free agent next month. A separate league source told the Herald that his team (not the Celtics) has received the same information and is operating under the belief that Irving wants to join the Nets.

Word is that the Celtics, meanwhile, had not been given any definitive indication from Irving as of Thursday afternoon.

Speculation that he’s headed to Brooklyn on Wednesday was spurred further Wednesday when Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Irving was about to switch agents and wind up with RocNation, the agency owned by Jay-Z, the Nets former minority stockholder, and run by Michael Yormark, Nets CEO Brett Yormark’s twin brother.

Bulpett noted that under players’ union rules, Irving must wait 15 days before actually joining RocNation.

Is it possible that Irving could switch gears? Bulpett noted that the 27-year-old guard has done so in the past.

To be fair to the situation, any story involving Irving needs to contain a disclaimer. While the two sources cited in the second paragraph are to be trusted, most anything involving Irving should be seen as a fluid matter. Nothing can be truly settled until a contract is signed, and that cannot take place until the NBA moratorium ends on July 6 at noon Eastern Time. And, as Celtic followers have come to know, Irving remains eminently capable of changing his mind.

Finally, Bulpett said that while Irving and Kevin Durant had spoken about teaming up in New York, there was a divergence about which team to join. Now, with KD down and out for up to a year with a ruptured Achilles, things may have changed.

At present, the Durant situation appears to be having no bearing on Irving. As reported here last month, a Golden State source said that Irving had definitely spoken to Durant about teaming up once they became free agents. Another source in that story said the problem was that Irving wanted Brooklyn, while Durant was leaning hard to the Knicks.

New York and other clubs with interest must consider that not only will Durant be facing what is essentially a redshirt year, but that he will be 32 at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Irving was a second team All-NBA guard last season despite the Celtics disappointing record. Danny Ainge, Boston GM, has said he and Irving had been in contact but that he was uncertain what Irving planned.

Meanwhile, several pundits have suggested that the Celtics continuing interest in Anthony Davis —despite his agent’s warning that Davis wouldn’t re-sign in Boston— is about trying to convince Irving to stay.