To the surprise of few people, Kyrie Irving is entering free agency. The star point guard has officially turned down his player option for next season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The option would have paid Irving $21.3 million to play for the Boston Celtics, but instead, he’s on the market. Without question, this is what most expected Irving to do.
Boston could opt to bring Irving back on a new deal, but indications are he will look elsewhere.
Irving has been linked to the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, among others, and Brooklyn has positioned itself recently as the perceived favorite.
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
Irving put up his usual strong numbers in his second season in Boston, including a career-high 6.9 assists per game. However, there were reports of discord for much of the season.
To top if off, Irving also shot poorly as the Celtics were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He shot 38.5 percent from the field and 31 percent from three-point range in nine postseason games.
Still, along with Kawhi Leonard and an injured Kevin Durant, the 27-year-old Irving will be one of the biggest prizes in free agency this summer.