Report: Celtics confident Irving will re-sign in 2019

Kyrie Irving and the Celtics enter the 2018-19 season as the favorites in the Eastern Conference.

On June 12, Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving said he doesn’t plan on signing a contract extension with the franchise this offseason, stating, “Contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

Irving will be a unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2019 if he declines his player option and will likely command a max contract.

The All-Star is set to make $20.1 million in 2018-19.

Despite rumors swirling that Irving might leave Boston for New York, the Celtics remain confident they can retain Irving, according to a report from ESPN.

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 small forward 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.

“We’re getting my man Gordon back,” Irving said on June 12. “I’m excited. Nobody’s going to be going at JB [Jaylen Brown] as hard as Gordon is and nobody’s going to be testing Gordon when he’s coming back and integrating himself back in like JT [Jayson Tatum] is.”