Kyrie Irving Turns Down Option, Changes Agents

Update #1, 8:19 pm: Adrian Wojnarowksi of ESPN reports that Irving has parted ways with his longtime agent Jeff Wechsler and is expected to sign on with Roc Nation Sports.

Roc Nation Sports is a sport management firm founded by Brooklyn rap icon Jay-Z. Jay-Z previously owned a portion of the Nets franchise. Earlier this week we wrote about the ‘strong mutual interest’ between Irving and the Nets.

As expected, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will not pick up his 2019-20 player option. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, the 27-year-old guard will formally turn down his $21.3 million final year and hit free agency on July 1.

Irving’s decision to hit the open market this summer shouldn’t come as a surprise, even if he does choose to return to Boston, he’ll be eligible for a sizable raise over what he would have otherwise earned in 2019-20.

Although he won’t be eligible to sign a designated veteran contract given that he was traded more recently than his fourth year in the league, Irving could still get considerably more money from the Celtics than anywhere else. Irving could land a 30% max deal for five years with 8% raises in between.

If Boston obliges, that would be a deal worth just shy of $190 million using projected salary cap figures for 2019-20. If Irving looks elsewhere he’d be limited to four years and 5% raises, or just over $140 million all-in.

Irving has long been the subject of speculation and that only grew when the Brooklyn Nets, who are said to have a strong interest in the veteran guard, paved the way to have two max contract slots this summer.

With Irving’s 2019-20 option out of the picture, Irving’s ‘Rose Rule’ rookie scale extension will officially be a thing of the past. That paves the way for the Celtics to go all in on trading for Anthony Davis as of July 1 if they so choose.

NBA rules state that teams may not acquire more than one player signed to such a deal at one time. Irving’s Rose Rule, signed with the Cavs back in 2014, officially began in 2015. Davis has at least one more year on his.