That’s according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, who believes the Celtics need to try and re-sign Irving whatever the cost.
Boston’s season has been full of turmoil in a year which they were hotly tipped to win the Eastern Conference.
Reaching the Eastern Conference Finals without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward had fans anticipating a possible title challenge this year with their All-Star duo back in the line-up.
That could still happen of course with the playoffs just around the corner, but on current form it looks extremely unlikely.
Somewhat more pressing for the Celtics though is their growing concern over whether Irving will want to re-sign.
And Boston will also likely enter the bidding war for Anthony Davis in the summer.
Multiple reports have stated how close both Davis and Irving are and it has been suggested they could try and team up in the near future.
The Celtics are best positioned to make that happen if they’re able to convince Irving to sign.
But O’Connor suggests the Celtics could risk losing both Irving and Davis in free agency next year.
“Several league front office executives I spoke with wondered: Would Irving sign a two-year contract with a player option for the second season to align his free agency with Davis’s?” he wrote.
“Irving might be prickly with the media and even those within the organisation, but he is popular with fans, and players around the league like him. Irving has influence.
“This is not complicated: the Celtics need to try to re-sign Irving, and then decide what’s best for the franchise.
“Panicking Celtics fans and pessimistic radio talking heads might feel like there’s logic to letting Irving walk, but that’d only lead to a guaranteed rebuild.
“Even if you’d like to see Irving go, it’d make more sense for the Celtics to re-sign him and trade him once they can, much like the Clippers did with Blake Griffin.”