Kyrie Irving On Free Agency: “Ask Me July 1”

Amidst speculation that he may be wavering on his preseason verbal commitment to re-signing with the Celtics, Kyrie Irving was asked today about his free agency plans, and his response likely didn’t calm any nerves in Boston.

“Ask me July 1,” Irving said, adding that he plans to do what’s best for his career (Twitter link via Ian Begley of ESPN.com).

Irving also said that the Celtics remain “at the head of the race,” and that his plan for now is to remain in Boston, per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). Still, his comments today seemed far more ambiguous than the ones he made at the fan event in October, where he stood up and told Celtics fans, “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.” Irving’s message today, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link), was: “I don’t owe anybody s—.”

Of course, verbal commitments are non-binding and Irving is well within his rights to change his mind between October 2018 and July 2019. Still, the timing of his hedging is pretty interesting. It comes on the heels of the Knicks opening up enough 2019 cap room for two maximum-salary free agents — and amidst rumors that Irving’s friend Anthony Davis could be traded.

As ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reiterated today, Davis’ camp has made it known that the big man doesn’t view Irving as a lock to re-sign with the Celtics, which would diminish Davis’ interest in Boston as a potential destination. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported today (via Twitter) that the Celtics still aren’t a preferred landing spot for Davis, who views Boston as a rental option.

While Windhorst acknowledges that his could be part of a disinformation campaign intended to land AD in L.A., he heard from multiple sources even before Irving’s comments today that the point guard may not be as committed to Boston as he had publicly stated.

Here’s more on Kyrie:

  • Irving hasn’t informed the Celtics that his feeling have changed at all, sources tell Windhorst. A league source tells Himmelsbach the same thing, and both scribes suggests that the C’s remain confident they’ll ultimately be able to lock up Irving long-term.
  • While there has been some speculation that Irving would have interest in teaming up with LeBron James again, a source with ties to Kyrie called that idea “a joke,” according to Himmelsbach.
  • The Celtics have reached out to the Pelicans and let them know they’d be willing to discuss anyone on their roster besides Irving in the summer, sources tell Windhorst. Still, Windhorst wonders if the C’s might get skittish enough about Kyrie’s long-term future in Boston to entertain the idea of including Irving in an offer for Davis. Doing so would free up the team to make offers now, rather than waiting until the summer. That seems like a long shot to me though.
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26 thoughts on “Kyrie Irving On Free Agency: “Ask Me July 1”

    • xabial

      Translation: now that Knicks have room for 2 max FA, Durant and I, on Knicks team with role players >>> current Celtics situation. I’m signing with the Knicks!

      Win a championship with NY you become legend, win w/ Bos “it’s just another in long line of championships.” Plus I grew up a Knicks’ fan!

  1. John Kidd

    Celtics should trade Kyrie to Knicks for Deandre Jordan. Rozier and Smart can handle the PG like they did last year in the playoffs.

      • John Kidd

        Throwing in Knox in with Jordan would add two bigs and keep Horford fresher down the stretch. Jordan would improve their defense with him protecting the rim.

    • No. KI will have the same ability to sign with either team (or anyone else with cap space) in the off-season (albeit Boston would need to move some things around first, other teams would not). The rest of this year, he can only screw up the Knicks’ tanking.

  2. He said what he “planned” to do. That’s not any kind of commitment as to what he’ll actually do.

    AD, on the other hand, made a binding legal commitment to play for the Pels the next year and a half, and that appears to mean very little to him or any of the teams pursuing him.

    • Pels made also a binding contract to have Hill & it seems to mean very little to them too. Loyalty starts with teams not players.

      • Wrong. You don’t understand contracts. The team doesn’t agree to “have” a player (whatever that means). It only agrees to pay the player. As long as they do that, they’ve fully honored their contract commitment. Don’t have to play him or roster him.

    • This is a L.A. vs. Boston media war. If February 1st goes by and AD is still with Pelicans, games on. Still wonder if Pelicans would sit AD for the season. They know they can get extra 1st round picks from the Knicks or Celtics. Tanking might be a good thing for them.

  3. JonnyLucas

    I don’t like these players colluding with each other to manipulate their rosters. It is ironic though, the teams are slave to the players. The have taken all the power, but it sucks for the small market teams. They have no hope.

    • LordBanana

      Not the players fault the pelicans mismanaged 7 years of Davis’ career. Why is he supposed to play for New Orleans his entire life

  4. Z-A

    Boston has to weigh 0.5 yrs of Kyrie then 5/188M vs 1.5 years of AD.

    I would deal Kyrie, retain the cheaper Rozier or let him go (Dinwiddie contract comp).

    Figure out the 3 or 4 team trade that lands Kyrie somewhere hed re-up. LAL would obviously not be in this deal unless they’d settle for Kyrie vs AD. LAC, NYK, SAS, MIA, MINN.

    If they were able to keep their top picks, you could maybe package up and land Ja Morant? Who knows Draft is in June.

    • DC CHOP

      Z-A’s first line (at least) is the correct view.

      But moving Irving to get Davis this year probably means Boston is punting on winning the title this season. Not clear Davis can come back, and even if he does have to work out a very different rotation. Might not be that big a punt, though, as no one is beating GSW.

  5. Dicka24

    Kyrie will most likely resign, and if the Pels wait till summer, Ainge will trade Tatum + for Davis with the hope that a year of playing/winning in Boston (+ the money) will lead him to resign too.

    If Kyrie bolts this summer then the Celtics won’t trade for Davis, and will instead resign Rozier and roll with the kids going forward, like they did last year. I’d prefer Kyrie + Davis, but moving forward with Tatum, Brown, Rozier, Smart, etc. and the extra 1st rounders they have isn’t a bad position to be in. They will still be good & will only get better.

  6. bigeasye

    Kyrie isn’t going anywhere. This is all folks in LA blowing smoke to reporters since they know Davis is heading to Boston.

  7. x%sure

    Irving is steering all this to run with AD in NY & steal him from Lebron… IF NYK gets the Zion pick. If not he stays in Boston.

  8. fieldsj2

    Kyrie is all about Kyrie. He’s gonna leave the Celts hanging. He’s an egomaniac, wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign with N.Y. Trade him while you can..

  9. CmeHearme

    No matter what Kyrie does, the Celtics are in great shape for whatever may happen.

  10. Guest617

    pelicans locked in with the celtics war chest of assets – don’t undermine ainge trading into top 5 lottery pick. everyone wins

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