With the 2017-18 NBA season officially over, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James started to become the center of multiple rumors and speculations. James is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and test the free agency market in July. Several NBA teams have been linked to the 33-year-old All-Star forward, including the Boston Celtics where he could potentially reunite with his former Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving played together in Cleveland for three years, made three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, and won an NBA championship title in 2016. If Irving was still playing for the Cavaliers last season, most people believe that the outcome of the NBA Finals 2018 would be different. In a recent interview, Irving was asked if he is open for a possible reunion with James in Boston.
“Obviously, it’s a business at the end of the day,” Irving said, via NBA.com. “Ownership and management, they’re going to feel what’s best for our future and I’m fully supportive of (them). We’ll see what happens.”
Despite the rumors about having a dispute, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James remain good friends, and the latter previously admitted that he tried to stop the Cavaliers from trading the All-Star point guard to the Celtics. Seeing both superstars play together in Boston is undeniably something Celtics fans want to see next season. The acquisition of LeBron will make the Celtics the top favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals 2019.
The Celtics’ projected starting lineup of Irving, James, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford will undeniably be a huge headache to any powerhouse teams in the league. However, as Irving said, the decision remains in the hands of the Celtics’ management whether they are really interested in bringing James to Boston or not.
In a recent press conference, Kyrie Irving also talked about signing a contract extension with the Celtics this summer. After the 2018-19 NBA season, Irving could opt out of his deal and enter the free agency market for the first time in the summer of 2019. The Celtics could prevent that from happening by giving him a contract extension this summer. However, the 26-year-old point guard said that, right now, signing an extension “doesn’t make any sense.”
“Contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense,” Irving said, via Chris Forsberg of ESPN. “I’m pretty sure management and I will have a talk, but that talk won’t happen now.”
Signing a contract extension this summer rather than having a new deal next offseason will cost Kyrie Irving approximately $80 million. According to Keith Smith of RealGM, Irving’s contract extension is only worth $108 million, while signing a new deal next summer will pay him $188 million.