Kyrie Irving says Boston has championship pedigree now

Irving said his backup, Terry Rozier, proved he's an National Basketball Association starter but that "turns into an unbelievable dynamic" for Boston next season.

Irving made it clear, however, that management will not decide in a vacuum.

But Kyrie, who still hasn't started running as he rehabs from knee surgery, seems comfortable with the situation here overall.

Irving said that's a discussion to be had after the upcoming season. And the fact that we're even having those conversations I'm a part of, I'm thankful for.

"I'm feeling good, man", Irving said on Tuesday.

"I am truly grateful to speak with management as well as our coaching staff", Irving said. "We'll see what happens". "You work extremely hard to be able to play really well on that big of a stage".

Love's comments came three days after one unnamed Cavaliers veteran told The Athletic's Jason Lloyd there was "no doubt" the Cavs would have won the first three games of the NBA Finals against the Warriors if they still had Irving.

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If he waits until free agency next year, however, and then maxes out with the Celtics (the only team that can offer him a 5-year deal), he'd be in line to make $190 million. And his injury history won't affect that concept.

Irving didn't try to deflect when asked about James and the possibility that the Celtics could be a wild-card suitor if James opts out of the final year of his deal. I don't think it'll necessarily have an effect. "I'm doing my best to kind of deflect all that and focus on what's in front of us".

Since Horford's contract is too hefty for a player you can't build around if you wish to get past the second round of the playoffs, Hayward would probably be the sought after commodity for Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman.

Irving asked his hope for the future.

"Obviously, it wasn't going to feel the same (not being there), but I was just so proud of our guys and what they did", Irving said.

And it could have huge ramifications on the race to win a championship.

It's the kind of thing that makes you raise your eyebrows if you're a Celtics fan or a person who wants Irving suiting up for their team some day.

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