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Paul Pierce explains why the Celtics should prepare for potential Kyrie Irving departure

GiveMeSport | Updated: 2018-08-15 20:25:12

The 2019 NBA free agency is already shaping up to be one of the most high-profile in league history with several superstars set to hit the open market. 

With the number of huge moves made by elite players in recent years, next summer's class could add to that list. 

The likes of Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins and Kemba Walker will all be free agents. 

Apart from Thompson, it's difficult to predict where these players will be playing next year. 

Anything is possible

It would come as a huge surprise if Irving decided to leave the Boston Celtics as they're set to compete for championships in the coming seasons with their talented young roster. 

But the star point guard has been heavily linked with a move to the New York Knicks and it'll be interesting to see how things play out for him in the upcoming campaign. 

With the moves that other superstars have made in this era, Celtics legend Paul Pierce won't be shocked if Kyrie chooses to depart Boston. 

"You know what? It’s hard to really get a read on the players these days. There are so many changes being made," Pierce told the Boston Sports Journal's Brian Robb.

"Who would have expected Kevin Durant to go to the Warriors? (DeMarcus) Cousins to the Warriors? LeBron (James) to Miami a few years ago?

"Players are just showing that they have the control and the power to do what they want.

"There is no loyalty to a franchise anymore. You are not going to see a player stay with one franchise for 10-15 years. That’s the generation we live in.

"You have to brace for it. Guys want to play with certain teams, they want to play with certain guys they know, their friends. They’re showing they have the power.”

If some reports are to be believed, Irving is looking to team up with Butler at some point in his career and with both players hitting free agency at the same time, it could be the best possible time to do it. 

That's why there are strong rumours about the duo potentially joining forces with the Knicks. 

But the 26-year-old hasn't given any indication that he wants to leave the Celtics and with a run to the NBA Finals looking likely, the chances of him going elsewhere look slim. 

The C's are primed to dominate the Eastern Conference for years to come and the five-time All-Star will surely not want to miss being a part of that.

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