Boston Celtics’ All-Star guard Kyrie Irving is hitting the open market this summer. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Irving will opt out of his current contract with the Celtics and pass on his $21.3 million player option.
Irving rejecting the option doesn’t automatically mean he will leave Boston, however. He is eligible for max extension, which can bring him $33 million in 2019/20, so becoming a free agent makes sense from a financial standpoint.
Although Kyrie Irving stated on numerous occasions in the past that he will stay with the Celtics past this season, the sources around the league say different. Irving is reportedly unhappy in Boston and would welcome the change of scenery with New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets being the favorites to land him.
The thing that will certainly influence Irving’s decision is the recent injury of Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant. The duo reportedly wanted to team up in New York, and form a championship contender. Still, now that Durant tore his ACL and will miss the entire season, he might opt to stay in Golden State and choose long-term security. In this case, Irving might rethink his strategy and look for other teams that could provide him a chance to win another championship.
Irving averaged 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.5 steals this season.