Celtics’ Irving staying in present, not focused on ’19 free agency

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving will be an unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2019 and is aware that questions about his future with the franchise will come up a lot next season.

Irving’s first year with the Celtics was cut short after the All-Star 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.

Irving is set to make $20.1 million in 2018-19 and will likely command a max contract when he hits the open market. He says he’ll have a clearer answer about his future when the time comes.

“I know that question is going to come up a lot over the next year, just based upon where my deal is,” Irving told The New York Times. “And, you know, that time will arise and when it does, I think I’ll have a better, clear, concise answer for a lot of people that are going to ask.

“I just have to take it as being present with the Boston Celtics. You know, and just going into this year with the mindset of trying to win a championship.”

With both Irving and Gordon Hayward expected to be healthy next season, the Celtics are primed to contend for a championship. Without Irving and Hayward during this year’s postseason, Boston took LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, so one would surmise they will be even more lethal with their two stars back.