Kyrie Irving announced his long-term commitment to the Boston Celtics at a fan event at TD Garden on Thursday. This comes less than two weeks before the start of the last season he’s under contract with the team.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 4, 2018
Irving could have re-signed with the Celtics over the summer, but as ESPN.com’s Jackie MacMullan noted, he would have sacrificed roughly $80 million.
In his one season with the Celtics, Irving averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists in 60 games. A lingering knee issue forced him to shut his season down early and miss the postseason. The 26-year-old from Duke will be entering his eighth NBA season this year.
Assuming negotiations proceed as planned between Irving and the Celtics next summer, one of the biggest free agents will be off the board as clubs such as the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets—both of whom were rumored to be interested in pursuing Irving as their number one free agent priority.
Now those teams will have to either regroup or start pursuing other options such as a Kemba Walker or Jimmy Butler.