Kyrie Irving Not Considering Extension This Summer

Despite being eligible for a contract extension this summer, Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is apparently not interested, reports Chris Forsberg of ESPN. Irving is quoted as saying he is pretty sure management and I will have a talk, but that talk won’t happen now,” because contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

Irving is instead focused on getting healthy for next season and helping Boston take another step towards an NBA Championship, saying that he intends to deflect focus off of his contract situation.

“The focus is solely on winning a championship next year. I don’t think [impending free agency will] necessarily have an effect. I’m doing my best to kind of deflect all that and focus on what’s in front of us.”

As for the extension-related issue, Irving’s logic is financially sound, as the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the players’ association caps the length of veteran extensions to five seasons, including the seasons remaining on the current contract. Moreover, it limits the salary in the first year of the actual extension to 120% of the player’s salary the previous season.

Irving, who is under contract next season for $20.1MM and holds a player option for the 2019/20 season worth $21.3MM, could choose to forgo exercising his option and sign a four-year extension worth about $108.1MM. Clearly, that figure is substantial; however, if Irving were to opt out next summer and become an unrestricted free agent, he would be eligible to utilize his Bird rights and sign a five-year deal with the Celtics worth upwards of $188MM, based on the latest salary projections for the 2019/20 season.

Irving, whose current contract is virtually identical to Spurs’ superstar Kawhi Leonard, is not eligible for a Designated Veteran Extension like Leonard because he hasn’t met the Designated Veteran Player 35% Max Criteria, nor has he remained with the same team throughout his current contract.

Irving was also asked about the prospect of potentially being reunited with former Cavaliers teammate LeBron James, saying that “in this business, I’ve experienced it all and I’ve seen a lot, so we’ll see what management decides.”

Irving further added that he’s navigating his rehab with caution but that he’s excited about his targeted return date of mid-to-late September.

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23 thoughts on “Kyrie Irving Not Considering Extension This Summer

  1. Luckylefty2

    Honestly It works for both parties. Celtics could give Kyrie all that money he gets hurt again and Rozier could have a breakout year and would have to let him go. It’s better they wait it out and see how the season goes this year.

  2. Thomas Blankenhorn

    These salaries are ludicrous. Compared to hard-working people contributing much to society, not just for entertainment purposes of a couple hours a day for a few months per year, but 6,8,10+ hours a day and up to most every day per year and are not getting anywhere near these new-formed kings are getting. i know many who do not think deeply about this will make their illogical rants focused on me but that’s their problem. I enjoy basketball but there comes a time when we should all work together in pushing for equity and if it requires boycotting, so be it. I think what would be reasonable is cutting most salaries down about 85%, 95% on the high end and 80% on the low end. It could be structured so that owners would not be able to make more than say 2X the median player salary which in some circumstances may mean owners may be earning about where the top players get, yet they’d be getting the money despite injuries, performance in general, and the shorter lifespan directly related to the game as players face. This would be a great start in the right direction. To think that the worst players at over $100K per year and Lebron James at $1.5M is not enough would be foolish. See book, “Thoughtful Living”.

    • floridagators15

      If your boss said you can either make 30 million dollars or 100 grand you act like you would say “yea I’m ok with 100k.” Shut up.

    • floridagators15

      Lebron James is probably worth at least 500 million dollars each year to the NBA and he gets topped out at 33 million.

    • LordBanana

      If players make less owners will make more, you’re just trying to take money from millionaires and give it to billionaires.

      What’s the point of lowering salaries anyways? It won’t lead to lower ticket prices.

    • JrodFunk5

      I agree Blankenhorn but a massive mindset change among western civilization will be necessary. It may come with the next generation. Follow the money. We all spend more on games, gear and TV than ever. It all trickles up to the players and owners. Oh well, just try to love the game anyway.

    • Jeff Zanghi

      How are you creating a system where owners make less money and players make less money… where is the rest of the $ going??? Like it isn’t just going to disappear… you can’t cut salaries 80% and limit owner’s profits to 2X the median salary and end up with a balanced system… like seriously do you have any understanding of economics at all? Or even simpler… of what mathematics is?

  3. Jeff Zanghi

    I like Kyrie a lot as a big C’s fan. But if his intention is to ‘test the FA market’ (and he’s not just approaching this as an if I just wait until next season the Celtics can give me more money type situation) then I hope they trade him for as great as he is. The Celtics proved they can win without him… and if they can flip him this off-season for someone who’s almost as good (Kawhi – albeit he could also be a FA so that’s contingent upon an extension too) and a pick or something… then they should do it. There’s no sense in risking losing him for nothing when Smart and Rozier demonstrated they can handle the PG spot in the playoffs.

    Look I’m certainly not claiming that Smart/Rozier are on the same level as Kyrie but I also don’t think they specifically need Kyrie to win. They definitely need a Kyrie or close to it caliber player… but if his ego’s so big that he isn’t even interested in signing and extension in Boston before testing FA – then bring in someone who’ll commit to the C’s and build upon the core that was one game away from the Finals… with him on the bench. He’s a superstar player no doubt… but he’s not the only superstar in the NBA and the C’s already proved they can win without him. Hopefully he does want to stay long term and this is just Kyrie’s ego (and ego-driven intelligence) commenting on the financial aspect of things. But if it’s something more – get value for him and don’t just let him walk after the season. They’re obviously a MUCH better team with him – but they’re still a Finals caliber team without him (and whatever AS they can get in return for him, assuming a trade)

    And before people rip Rozier as a fluke… I’ll admit he may not be a true star in the NBA. But his ability to play the PG position in a playoff run like the C’s just had and have so incredibly few Turnovers proves he’s legit. He probably won’t ever be in the same league as Kyrie – but the insanely low TO rate he had throughout the post-season gives me confidence he can handle being a starting PG on a Finals caliber team. (Assuming the right pieces around him)

  4. julyn82001

    All that money! Bless all these gifted players! Unreal and unfair to working class Americans!

    • yoyo137

      If you were responsible for bringing in that much revenue, wouldn’t you feel entitled to some of it? The NBA wouldn’t exist without the players and they’re splitting the money with billionaire owners anyway, who you have nothing to say about.

  5. You Thomas Blankenhorn don’t like neither hollywood stars, they make more money than this guys just working a couple of weeks for 1 movie if they do 2-3 a year they worth in the 100’sMM so this is an absolutely ridiculous argument as this guys do entertain much more & for much longer & work much harder than actors, I think you just jealous you’ll never make that money.

  6. Kyrie is a very good player, even a star, but he is far away from a superstar in this league, don’t think he will ever be, he was riding the coat tails of Lebron in Cleveland & he has had a good season in Boston, but even before the injury he was probably about a top 20 player, so he is good as a #2-3 option in a winning team, he will not be the top man in a winning team. For some reason everyone seems to hype him so much, as I said a star yes, superstar no way.

    • southbeachbully

      Who’s a better #1 option on the Celtics other than Kyrie? And I would argue that he clearly is a top 10-15 guy in the NBA right now, although his long-term health may cause teams to hedge against that.

  7. chiefivey

    he isn’t necessarily gone, it just makes sense to wait until his contract is up because he gets more money

  8. southbeachbully

    I often wonder the level of competence of people under the employ of NBA stars. Kryie comes off of as very mercurial, and I’m not 100% sure if that’s who he is or if he has inflated sense of importance about himself. I heard his father is very involved in his thinking, and of late, he seeks counsel from Kobe. I would much rather he gives “Jeter-ish” responses to questions pertaining to off-court matters.

  9. Such a no brainer for KI that I won’t even call it a decision. Any decision was made when he negotiated his existing contract. It’s a typical star contract, and was designed to be opted out of after the next to last season of the contract, with the last being a player option year for security.

    What max player in this kind of contract situation has elected to do an early extension? Did the Celtics even suggest it?

  10. I have no idea why everyone is saying trade Kyrie or he’s not loyal. I mean the guy is making the decision that anyone with a brain would make. Can’t leave all that money on the table. If anything he’s gambling on himself despite his injury history

  11. Love him on the team but what he can bring in a trade is worth more than the one year Boston will get from him.
    He is made of glass, say bye to Beantown!

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