Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving can become an unrestricted free agent in 2019. In this picture, Irving#11 of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 18, 2017, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 2018-19 NBA season is yet to start but talks about potential free agents in 2019 are already making the rounds with Kyrie Irving’s future a hot topic of discussion during the off season.

The likes of Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are likely to enter free agency next summer and have all been linked with moves away from their current franchises.

The Boston Celtics point guard will also have the chance to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. Irving has been linked with a move to the New York Knicks among other teams once he enters free agency.

The talks about Irving leaving Boston gathered pace after he declined to sign an extension with his current employers this summer opting to wait until 2019 to make his decision. The Athletic’s Shams Charania, however, believes he will give the Celtics a “long-term shot” and re-sign with them next summer.

The NBA insider believes it is normal for speculation to be rife when the top players enter the final-year of their contract after which they can opt out, but believes Irving has everything he needs to be successful with the Celtics.

The point guard left the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of the 2016-17 season to get out of LeBron James’ shadow and have his own team and Irving has it in Boston. They have a packed roster with some of the best young players in the league, and they showed they can compete with the best when the Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals without their star players — Irving and Gordon Hayward — last season.

“Yeah, I’ve always gotten the sense he’d give Boston a long-term shot,” Charania said speaking on Jeff Goodman’s “Good N’ Plenty” podcast, as quoted on NESN. “I’ve heard, I think we all have, the talk about him in New York and these different situations.”

"I just think it’s normal now… I’m sure we’ll start hearing it with Kevin Durant too depending on how the Golden State Warriors season goes because these players they’re in the last years of their contracts, teams are hoping to contend and if you’re not meeting expectations and the goals then there’s gonna be eyeballs. ... I think Boston relishes that challenge. I think they know eyes are going to be on them, on Kyrie, and that’s just another storyline I think to watch all year. But I’ve also gotten the sense… listen, he’s happy, he wants his own team and he got that in Boston, he has a stacked team, he’s close to Jayson Tatum, it’s a good market that he’s playing in, and I haven’t gotten the sense that Kyrie Irving is the type that’s going to going to be bolting from franchise to franchise. I did get the sense that he wanted to find a good situation when he got moved from Cleveland.”