Aside from being eliminated from the NBA playoffs, all is well with the Boston Celtics. The team is young, loaded with talent and its head coach is, well, really good.
Difficult times might lie ahead, though.
Point guard Kyrie Irving will be an unrestricted free agent after next season and likely will fetch a pretty penny should he hit the open market. It would behoove the Celtics, then, to lock him up before he reaches free agency.
Irving, however, can’t make as much money with an extension as he would by signing a free agent deal. The way for him to earn the most cash would be to re-sign with the Celtics as a free agent, with the second-most lucrative option being to sign with another franchise. So, if Irving were to sign an extension before reaching free agency, he essentially would be taking a hometown discount.
Celtics legend and play-by-play broadcaster Cedric Maxwell, for one, doesn’t see that happening.
“Personally, if it was me, I can’t (take less money). You gotta show me the money,” Maxwell said during Monday’s episode of “Arbella Early Edition” on NBC Sports Boston. “I don’t know where Kyrie is gonna stand on this. I know he’s happy to be here, he loves playing here, but that thing comes back over and over again: ‘Show me the money.’
“At the end of the day, as a player, sometimes you measure championships, and you also measure your bank accounts.”
Given Irving’s age, talent and reputation around the NBA, he’d probably be wise to test the free agent waters. Still, all indications are he loves being in Boston, so Celtics fans shouldn’t get too worried about him leaving in a year.
Although, Marcus Smart’s looming contract situation could be cause for concern, as could Terry Rozier’s inevitable reduced role next season.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports Images