Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Iriving will become a free agent this summer. Irving won’t opt into his $21.3 million deal for the 2019-20 NBA season and will become an unrestricted free agent, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
It’s no suprise that Iriving decided not to exercise his option, the Celtics had expected that he wouldn’t. After the Celtics lost the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Milwaukee Bucks Irving said, “For me, it’s just moving on to the next thing, and just seeing where that ends up,” per Jared Schwartz of the New York Post.
This season Irving averaged 23.8 points and a career-best 6.9 assists while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor and 40.1 percent on 3-pointers. He was also named to the All-NBA second team.
The Nets are appently the favorite to land Irving. ESPN’s Stephan A. Smith said on First Take: “I have learned that Kyrie Irving has given every indication to the Brooklyn Nets that that is where he wants to go, not the New York Knicks,” per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
One thing that could affect where Irving goes is what happens with Kevin Durant. Durant and Irving have been thought of as a package deal for the New York Knicks. However Irving might not be interested in the Knicks. The Nets are interested in Durant despite the fact that Durant got injured during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Adrian Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s Golic and Wingo that the Nets is what Irving is focused on.
“I think the one player it really impacts is Kyrie Irving. because both the Knicks and the Nets hoped that Kyrie and KD could be a package deal, that they could sign them. Both [teams] are in a position to sign them. And Kyrie Irving certainly has a significant interest in being back in New York. If he leaves Boston, that’s the top of his list and he, I’ve been told, is really focused on Brooklyn if he was to sign with one of the New York teams. “
Despite where Durant lands up, Irving wants to be in Brooklyn. So expect him to sign with the Nets very soon.