Irving will become free agent

Irving will become free agent

Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving has already publicly stated that he will opt out of the final year of his deal, but that is purely a financial move since he will be in line for a significantly higher salary from whatever team he chooses to sign with.

UPDATE (Wednesday, 11:57 a.m.): Kyrie Irving made it official, deciding he will not opt into his $21.3 million contract with the Boston Celtics for next season, making the guard a free agent.

Irving's decision to hit the open market this summer shouldn't come as a surprise, even if he does choose to return to Boston, he'll be eligible for a sizable raise over what he would have otherwise earned in 2019-20. By declining it, he'd be eligible to sign a five-year deal worth nearly $190 million with the Celtics.

Irving has always been the subject of speculation and that only grew when the Brooklyn Nets, who are said to have a strong interest in the veteran guard, paved the way to have two max contract slots this summer.

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Although most fans likely see the Boston Celtics' three first-round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft as trade fodder for a potential blockbuster deal, there's the very real possibility that no such transaction takes place for the Celtics and they end up with four rookies on their roster, if you include their second-round pick.

After originally revealing at an event at the TD Garden that he'd re-sign with the team, Irving admitted in February that he didn't "owe anybody s--" when he was asked about his impending free agency. Irving's Rose Rule, signed with the Cavs back in 2014, officially began in 2015.

For years now, there has been speculation about whether one of Ainge's next deals will involve Pelicans star Anthony Davis.