Report: Kyrie committed verbally to stay with Celtics

Kyrie Irving has reportedly told Celtics officials he is committed to the team long-term.

Kyrie Irving has been on record as saying he will not sign an extension with the Boston Celtics this season.

However, according to Shams Charania of Stadium, Irving said at a public event he doesn’t plan on departing Beantown when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July.

Charania also reports Irving has told Boston’s front office he’s committed, long-term, to the Celtics.

Irving, a five-time All-Star who has already had three knee surgeries, was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Aug. 22, 2017 in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn’s unprotected 2018 first-round draft choice (which the Cavaliers utilized with the eighth overall pick to select point guard Collin Sexton out of Alabama) and a future second-round pick.

If Irving declines his player option for the 2019-20 season, he will be an unrestricted free agent in July and will likely command a max contract. Irving will make $20.1 million this season.

“Contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense,” Irving said. “My hope is we can limit it to maybe one question a day about what I’m doing next year. I think it’s unfair in terms of putting responsibility and also putting that communication with other guys. The focus is solely on winning a championship next year. I don’t think it’ll necessarily have an effect [on the team]. I’m doing my best to kind of deflect all that and focus on what’s in front of us.”

In his first season in Boston, Irving averaged 24.4 points, 3.8 boards and 5.1 dimes in 32.2 minutes in 60 games, shooting 49.1 percent from the field,  40.8 percent from long distance and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line before having his season cut short at 60 games in April by knee surgery.

Irving, 26, carries career averages of 22.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.9 minutes in 441 games, with a shooting line of 46.2/38.8/87.5.

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