The Boston Celtics are on the verge of their first game in the 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals, which will see the squad travel to Milwaukee to take on the top-seeded Bucks on Sunday. Boston will, as it has been all year, be led by Kyrie Irving, although if the Los Angeles Clippers had their way, he would have joined their squad around the trade deadline.
According to a new piece by Shams Charania of The Athletic, one in which he broke down all four Eastern Conference squads remaining, the Clippers were interested in making a play for Irving before it sent Tobias Harris to Philadelphia. You can imagine how that went.
Via The Athletic:
Sources say Boston ownership and senior leadership in Ainge and coach Brad Stevens agreed before the trade deadline that the team was moving forward with the current roster — which owners believed was ready for a title run — and not to make moves that would impact the roster’s chances of competing in the East, such as listening to offers for Irving. The Celtics’ leaders believed the team was built for a title. The Clippers made a preliminary call to Boston on Irving prior to the Harris trade to Philadelphia, league sources said. A quick no was given.
This, of course, worked out for both sides. The Celtics held onto a great player in Irving, someone whose brilliance could help them win the conference if they can get by Milwaukee, then either Toronto or Philadelphia. As for the Clippers, their opening round series against the Golden State Warriors has been a blast, plus they got pieces in the eventual trade for Harris that should be valuable going forward. Still, it’s fun to wonder what would have happened if a Kyrie swap occurred.