Woj: 'I still would take Boston against the rest of the field' in Irving sweepstakes

Ashish Mathur

Boston Celtics star point guard Kyrie Irving can become an unrestricted free-agent during the summer of 2019 if he declines his player option for the 2019-20 season and rumors have already surfaced that Irving has his eyes on the New York Knicks as a possible destination.

Irving is set to make $20.1 million in 2018-19. If he stays healthy, the All-Star will likely command a max contract on the open market.

There have been rumblings that Irving wants to join forces with Jimmy Butler in New York. Like Irving, Butler can become a free-agent next summer and the forward declined an extension offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves in July.

But ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski believes the Celtics still have the upper hand in the Irving sweepstakes.

“I still would take Boston against the rest of the field,” Wojnarowski said on The Woj Pod. “I think in the end, there comes a moment of truth when you look around and you have to make a decision about somewhere else. And when you really start inspecting the questions that are in almost any other circumstance he would go to, you’d say, ‘Boy, it’s pretty good [in Boston].' "

With both Irving and Gordon Hayward expected to be healthy this upcoming season, the Celtics are primed to contend for a championship and the early favorites to win the Eastern Conference now that LeBron James is in the West.

Irving’s first year with the Celtics was cut short after the superstar guard underwent season-ending knee surgery in April. Before going down, Irving was averaging 24.4 points and 5.1 assists in 60 games while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from beyond the arc.