NBA

Report: Kyrie Irving to opt out of player option for 2019-20 season, become unrestricted free agent

Kyrie Irving has a player option for next season, but is expected to become an unrestricted free agent.
Kyrie Irving has a player option for next season, but is expected to become an unrestricted free agent. (Getty Images)

Kyrie Irving won't pick up his player option for the 2019-20 season, paving the way for him to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Charania added that the Boston Celtics expected Irving to decline his player option ahead of Thursday's deadline.

Irving's option for next season is worth $21.3 million. By declining it, he'd be eligible to sign a five-year deal worth almost $190 million with the Celtics. The most other teams can offer him is a four-year deal worth $139 million.

Either way, his annual salary is set to increase significantly.

Irving is coming off of a season in which he averaged 23.8 points, 6.9 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game. He was named an All-Star for the sixth time in seven seasons and made the All-NBA Second Team for the first time in his career.

Irving is widely considered to be the third-best free agent this offseason, behind Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard.

The Brooklyn Nets are expected to be one of the teams interested in signing Irving.

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