Boston Celtics trade rumors about Kyrie Irving have returned. Even as the Celtics prepare to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, there are still NBA trade rumors about what might take place during the offseason. While many of these rumors tend to come from social media, the talking heads have already begun discussing what will come during the 2018-19 NBA season.

There was earlier chatter about LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers. One team he has been linked to is the Philadelphia 76ers, as the franchise could really use some veteran leadership.

James might be able to take that team to the next level, especially with all of the young talents that would surround him. He isn't the only All-Star player that is popping up in the chatter about switching teams though.

Why would Celtics trade Irving?

So the most important question here is why would a team that has made it all the way to the ECF trade away the person who might be their best player? The answer comes down to recency bias. The talking heads for Fox Sports and ESPN see the success that the Celtics are having while Irving is sitting on the bench. Irving got hurt again, forcing the team to figure out ways to win without him. And win they have.

Irving has only one more guaranteed year under his contract, with the Celtics paying him roughly $20.1 million for the 2018-19 NBA season.

Then, Irving can opt out and test free agency. This is where things get tricky for team president Danny Ainge, who typically looks to make moves before he is forced to deal with contract issues of this nature. Could Ainge look to deal Irving before possibly losing him to free agency? In that storyline, an Irving trade makes sense.

More realistic NBA rumors

So what is one of the Boston Celtics trade rumors that has garnered the most interest? That is where the story begins to shift away from Kyrie Irving. A lot of the talking heads, including those who contributed to a report for NESN, feel that the Celtics could push to acquire Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs.

Leonard and the front office of the Spurs appear to be on different pages, making him a star player who could be traded during the NBA offseason.

What would it take for the Celtics to get Leonard? Likely either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum. Possibly both. Gordon Hayward will return soon for the Celtics, making one of these guys expendable. If the plan is to get Leonard, one would need to get traded and the other would likely have to come off the bench. That might frustrate Celtics fans, as the youth movement seems to be succeeding under Danny Ainge.

Just because there are so many new Celtics trade rumors also doesn't necessarily guarantee that the team is going to make any moves. Ainge might just continue to build this roster and fill in the gaps with inexpensive free agents.

But if the Celtics get knocked off by the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers and he decides to re-sign with the Cavs, the urgency for the Celtics to make a move might increase. At that point, Boston Celtics fans should start to pay closer attention to the NBA trade rumors.