Kyrie Irving Rejects $23.3M Deal With Boston, PossiblyJoining Lebron James Or Kevin Durant
Boston Celtics' biggest star, Kyrie Irving has decided to reject his player option and will be a free agent from June 30 when the NBA market will open again. Irving will leave a one-year, $21.3 million contract and will be free to deal with any franchise, including the New York Knicks where a possible team up with Kevin Durant can happen, the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers to reunite with his former teammate Lebron James.
It is not much of a surprise that Irving will not exercise the player option with Boston, now it has been confirmed by Shams Charania of the Atheletic. Irving, who arrived at the Boston Celtics in the offseason of 2017, after just deciding to no longer stand in LeBron's shadow at the Cleveland Cavaliers, somewhat good seasons with the green franchise, with 127 regular-season games, 24.1 points, 6.1 assists, and 4.4 rebounds.
The Celtics, led by Irving, even reached the East semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks this season. However, reported problems in the locker room, lack of chemistry and an injury that took him out of the playoffs when Boston went to the Eastern Conference finals last year are some reasons that he decided to reject the Boston deal.
The current indicates that Irving will change shirts, but there is still a possibility that Irving will end up in Boston. If Boston does not want to lose their star player, they will have to open their wallet more as Irving confirmed that he would not play with the Celtics for that amount. Hence a new contract should be in place.
This may not happen though, as journalist Steve Kyler, of the Basketball Insiders portal, reported that the Celtics are already preparing for different scenarios in the face of the upcoming free agent harvest and that none of those include Kyrie. The Celtics have been pondering the possibility of making changes and incorporating players that fit their two young stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, better, and while Boston is still interested in re-signing Irving, they do not have much faith that they will get it. At least Boston is in a good situation because if it loses its star, it also has young players capable of leading the franchise.
Celtics' Kyrie Irving is not opting into his $21.3 million deal for next season and will become a free agent eligible to sign a new contract with Boston or elsewhere, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 12, 2019
Now all the doors for Kyrie Irving playing in a new team are open. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, teams from the region in which he grew up, appear as strong candidates to hire him. Both teams have the ability in their payroll to offer maximum contract so the offers will be irresistible.
The Knicks is a team that has been linked with Kevin Durant free agency for months now, and they are looking for another star to play alongside Durant, which may be Irving. It is a feasible option, since going to New York motivates Irving, especially because he knows that they miss him. In one of his visit to Madison last February, they sang to him: "We love Kyrie in New York." A direct message, but it may be insufficient. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has also been very vocal. The desire of the Nets to get Irving services is well known further by emphasizing that they are already talking about a mutual interest with Irving.
The Los Angeles Lakers is also another team who wants Irving on board. Reports say that the relationship between LeBron James and Irving has been fixed and that a reunion is possible. Lakers have been very busy building up a possible team around Lebron. They've been targeting a number of players including Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler and now Irving. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN commented that the Celtics point guard is already planning to meet with the Lakers in free agency.
For now, we will have to wait until June 30 to know where Irving and other big stars such as Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard included in the Free Agent Market will land.