All of a sudden, it’s a race to land Kyrie Irving in free agency.
The Boston Celtics star point guard, who said before the season he planned to sign a long-term contract extension with the Celtics, told reporters Friday that Boston still is No. 1 at the moment despite rumors of him wanting to leave for either the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks.
However, Irving doesn’t sound quite as committed to the Celtics, telling reporters Friday morning he plans to “do what’s best for my career,” per The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.
“Ask me July 1,” Irving added when pressed about his future.
The All-Star guard did, however, indicate Boston was “still at the head of the race.”
That’s obviously a much different sentiment than Irving expressed at a preseason team event where he told fans, “If you’ll have me back, I plan on re-signing here.”
Irving technically is under contract through next season, but he has the ability to opt out this offseason and sign a bigger contract, which everyone expects him to do. Once he opts out, he becomes a free agent, which means it’s no sure thing he re-signs in Boston.
Irving added Friday: “At the end of the day I spent the last eight years trying to do what everybody else wanted me to do in terms of making my decisions and trying to validate through the media, through other personnel, managers, anybody in this business.”
That’s probably not going to make Celtics fans feel any better, but only time will tell at this point.