Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
- Nuggets’ Thomas joins Hart to talk Celtics, Cavs - September 11, 2018
- Sources: Celtics’ Irving, Hayward ‘look impressive’ in pickup play - September 7, 2018
- Griffin suggests Cavs’ Smith hasn’t been motivated to stay in shape - September 7, 2018
Boston Celtics star point guard Kyrie Irving can become an unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2019 if he declines his player option and will likely command a max contract if he enters the open market.
Irving is set to make $20.1 million in 2018-19 and has already said he won’t sign a contract extension with the Celtics before the season starts.
Irving’s free agency next summer will be a frequent talking point throughout this season, but Celtics head coach Brad Stevens says he isn’t going to even mention it to Irving.
“I’m not going to talk to him about it at all,” Stevens told Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports. “One of the things I want to do is give everything I can to all these guys while they’re here. Hopefully, the people that are here recognize that it’s a really good environment with a high upside for a long time. It’s some place that will be committed to them, committed to their overall game and enhancement and off the court and everything else. There’s no real discussion to be had. It’s more, ‘We can’t wait to get to work.’ ”
Irving’s first year with the Celtics was cut short after the superstar guard underwent season-ending knee surgery in April. Before going down, Irving was averaging 24.4 points and 5.1 assists in 60 games while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from beyond the arc.
With both Irving and Gordon Hayward expected to be healthy, the Celtics are primed to contend for a championship. Without Irving and Hayward during the 2018 postseason, Boston took LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, so one would surmise the Celtics will be even more lethal with their two stars back.
Stevens says rehabs for Irving and Hayward are on schedule.
“They say (Hayward is) looking great, progressing well and should be good to go,” Stevens said. “I think he and Kyrie will be fully cleared by the time training camp starts and probably well before.”