Morning sports update: Chris Mannix says the Celtics are ‘scared’ of Kyrie Irving leaving next summer

"I think they're scared and should be scared to some degree of Kyrie Irving walking in 2019."

Kyrie Irving Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics reacts as he heads back to the bench after a timeout trailing the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 23. –Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Jalen Beeks gave up six runs in his major league debut as the Tigers cruised past the Red Sox 7-2 on Thursday night. Beeks was pulled in the fourth inning and Boston’s four-game winning streak came to an end. Alex Ovechkin won his first Stanley Cup as the Capitals beat the Golden Knights in five games.

Chris Mannix says the Celtics are ‘scared’ of Kyrie Irving leaving next summer

Kyrie Irving is under contract to play for the Boston Celtics next year, but after that he has an option to opt out of his deal and enter free agency for the first time. According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix, the organization is worried that the star point guard will walk away that summer.


“I think they’re scared. I think they’re scared and should be scared to some degree of Kyrie Irving walking in 2019,” Mannix said on his podcast. “I know he had a great year, but there are people in Cleveland that will tell you that the Knicks should be considered a real threat for Kyrie Irving. Because Kyrie had talked about it — about playing with the Knicks with some players in that Cleveland locker room, from what I was told.”

The Cavaliers traded Irving to Boston in August. He led the Celtics to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference before knee surgery ended his season. Mannix noted that Irving’s thought process might be different in Boston, where he’s the go-to scorer, than in Cleveland where he was a sidekick to LeBron James.

“You know things can change,” Mannix said. “Obviously, you go to Boston and you become the face of the franchise. You’re on a winning team. Maybe the mindset has changed significantly?”

Shams Charania, another NBA reporter for Yahoo, said, “I know Kyrie Irving’s mindset when the trade happened was ‘Boston is my home for the foreseeable future.'”

The Celtics’ fears are unlikely to be put to rest this offseason. If Irving signed an extension in Boston this summer, he’d be leaving nearly $87 million on the table.


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