Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kyrie Irving plans to re-sign with Celtics, as Knicks take a major hit
Kyrie Irving says he intends to re-sign with the Celtics next summer, effectively ending the Knicks’ dreams of landing the New Jersey native.
At a fan event at TD Garden on Thursday , Irving told the crowd, “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.”
If it happens, it would be a major blow to the rebuilding Knicks and executives Steve Mills and Scott Perry, who are building toward the summer of 2019 when they can target free agents like Irving, Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant.
Irving signed a five-year, $94 million deal with Cleveland prior to the 2015-16 season but asked for a trade last summer. He has a player option for next season and can become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
Despite injuries to Irving and top free agent Gordon Hayward, the Celtics finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals in seven games.
After arriving in Boston via trade from Cleveland a year ago, Irving averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game in 2017-18. The Celtics finished 55-27 and advanced to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals despite the injury-related absences of Irving and Hayward. With LeBron James now playing in Los Angeles, Boston is considered one of the favorites to win the East in 2018-19.
“I’ve been away from Cleveland officially for a year now, and I’m finally getting acclimated in Boston,” Irving told ESPN.com.
Part of “getting acclimated” includes taking a course at the Harvard Business School entitled “Crossover Into Business,” which matches participants with a pair of Harvard Business School MBA student mentors who will “develop their business acumen and empower them to make better business decisions.”
A source close to Irving believes it won’t be the only class he takes at Harvard, either. Irving was a one-and-done at Duke, where he played just nine games due to injury.
“He seems to be settled [in Boston],” the source told SNY.tv. “Plus I don’t think he is only going to be taking one course at Harvard.”
(The AP contributed)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.