Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
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Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving said earlier this summer that he doesn’t plan on signing a contract extension with the franchise this offseason.
Irving will be an unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2019 if he declines his player option and likely command a max contract. The All-Star is set to make $20.1 million in 2018-19.
“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.”
There have been rumblings that Irving wants to join forces with Jimmy Butler in New York possibly. Like Irving, Butler can become a free agent next summer and the forward recently declined an extension offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
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, and it appears Irving is happy with being a Celtic.
“Sources connected to Irving reiterated in the last two days that, while there are miles to go between now and the end of the coming season, the All-Star guard is quite pleased with his Celtic surroundings and has been talking about the future here beyond 2018-19.”
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 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.