Irving plans long-term stay with Celtics

Kyrie Irving is a five-time NBA All-Star. (AFP pic)

BOSTON: Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving said on Thursday that he plans to remain with the team following the upcoming season.

“I’ve shared it with some of my teammates, as well as the organisation and everyone else in Boston,” Irving said at a gathering of Celtics season-ticket holders at TD Garden. “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.”

The comment drew a raucous reaction from the crowd.

According to HoopsHype.com, Irving is due to make US$20.1 million (RM83.3 million) in the 2018-19 season, then has a US$21.3 million (RM88.3 million) player option for 2019-20.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania also reported on Thursday that Irving told Celtics’ ownership he plans to stay with the club long-term.

Irving, 26, spent his first six NBA seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers before he was acquired by the Celtics in August 2017 in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić, and a first-round draft pick.

His first season for Boston was halted in March due to a left knee infection that led to surgery. Irving has been back in action for the Celtics in the preseason.

Irving averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 60 games for Boston last season. For his career, he has averages of 22 points, 5.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals.

The five-time All-Star was a key part of the Cavaliers’ 2015-16 championship team. He was the Rookie of the Year in 2011-12 after Cleveland selected him first overall out of Duke.