Now that Aron Baynes is gone and both Al Horford and Kyrie Irving are expected to leave town once NBA free agency kicks off on June 30, questions about where things went wrong for the Celtics have started to pop up again.
Baynes being traded is fairly cut and dry. Horford’s situation at least seems a little clearer than Irving’s — reports indicate Horford is getting a lot of money. Plus, with Boston, understandably, not viewed in the same light as it was last year, taking a team discount wouldn’t make much sense for him.
The most perplexing part of this fiasco has, of course, been Irving wanting out. For all the disappointment the team brought in 2018-19, this was his team. That was supposedly what he wanted when he left LeBron James and Cleveland.
So it seems like Irving had the scenario he wanted. But it turns out there was one slight flaw.
On a recent episode of ESPN’s “Brian Windhorst and The Hoop Collective,” Jackie MacMullan — who’s had her finger on the pulse of Irving’s situation better than anyone — explained what appears to be the crux of the issue.
"Kyrie Irving didn't like Boston," MacMullan said. "I've been told this by many people. He didn't like living in Boston. He just didn't. By the end, he had issues with Brad (Stevens). By the end, he had issues with Danny (Ainge). By the end, he had issues with pretty much all of us."
If Irving’s reported frustrations weren’t perplexing enough, this report comes on the heels of Ainge telling Kyle Draper on NBC Sports Boston’s NBA Draft show he and Irving had a good relationship.