Celtics

A full timeline of Kyrie Irving's comments about Celtics, future in Boston

A full timeline of Kyrie Irving's comments about Celtics, future in Boston

Why are Kyrie Irving's latest comments causing such a stir?

As always, context is key.

Irving opened the door for speculation he may leave the Boston Celtics in free agency, telling reporters at Madison Square Garden on Friday to "ask me July 1" about whether he'll re-sign.

Irving's remarks stood in contrast to the apparent promise he made to Celtics fans in October that he planned to stay in Boston for the long haul.

So, what should we make of his apparent flip-flop? You be the judge.

Below is a timeline of the notable comments Irving has made since joining the Celtics via trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers in August 2017.

September 1, 2017: Irving explains his reasoning for demanding a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James at his introductory press conference.

"It was my time to do what was best for me in terms of my intentions, and that’s going after something bigger than myself and honestly being in an environment that’s conducive to my potential. I think that statement is self-explanatory, because it’s pretty direct in terms of what my intent is: To be happy and to be with a group of individuals that I can grow with.

“And that’s not a knock on anything that’s transpired in my six years [on the Cavaliers], because it was an unbelievable experience. … So, me leaving wasn’t about basketball. It was more or less about creating that foundation of me in Cleveland, and then now taking this next step as a 25-year-old evolving man and being the best basketball player I can be.”

June 12, 2018: Entering the final season of his contract, Irving is asked whether he'll sign an extension with the Celtics before the 2018-19 season.

"Contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense. I’m pretty sure management and I will have a talk, but that talk won’t happen now."

October 4, 2018: Irving announces his intention to re-sign with the Celtics during a question-and-answer session with season ticket holders at TD Garden.

"I shared it with some of my teammates as well as the organization and everyone else in Boston: If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here next year."

October 5, 2018: Irving explains his surprise announcement to the media the following day.

"I have every intention of signing with Boston next year. I do have a dream of putting my No. 11 in the rafters one day if I'm so blessed to do that. I've worked my tail off, obviously a lot of great players have come before me, but to throw my name in Boston Celtics tradition and history is something I'm glad I can do. And I'm planning on doing so."

" ... Honestly, thinking about starting over was just a shitty thought. Honestly. It just was like, man, I do not want to move again. I do not want to uproot my family and just be dealing with everything new again. No disrespect to any other organizations, but here was a perfect fit."

October 5, 2018: Following a game against the Knicks in New York, Irving confirms he considered requesting a trade to his hometown team before joining Boston.

"Every team was under consideration. But obviously New York held a special place for me, being from Jersey and obviously envisioning myself as a free agent, and ultimately taking a meeting, playing for Fiz [coach David Fizdale], and the great young core they have, thinking about playing here. Playing with KP [Kristaps Porzingis], that was a big thing, before I made my decision to plan on re-signing back with Boston. But yeah, of course, New York was a strong consideration."

November 12, 2018: After a 1-4 road trip, Irving suggests the Celtics should add another veteran player.

"Looking at this locker room, me being in my eighth year and being a ‘veteran’ as well as Al [Horford] and [Aron] Baynes. Right now I think it would be nice if we had someone that was a 15-year vet, a 14-year vet that could kind of help us race along the regular season and understand it’s a long marathon rather than just a full-on sprint, when you want to play, when you want to do what you want to do."

January 12, 2019: Irving appears to demand more from the Celtics' young players after a road loss to the Orlando Magic.

"Experience. It’s the best thing I can say is experience. We’re lacking it and, because of that, we have a lot of learning to do. So we have a lot of ground to make up in that aspect. It gets tough. When it gets hard you’ve got to think. You’ve got to do the right things. You can’t gamble and think that it’s going to be the winning play. You’ve got to be able to play the full 48 minutes, no matter what’s going on, and hold your head high when you make mistakes. When your job is called upon, you’ve got to do it to the best of your ability. You’ve got to come in and make an impact for the minutes that you’re playing out there. 

"You’ve got to appreciate being out there and just competing. It doesn’t matter who you’re going against. It matters the type of preparation you have, what you’re going out and trying to accomplish. What’s the big picture? What are we doing here? These are things I don’t think some of my teammates have faced of just every single day. It’s not easy to be great."

January 16, 2019: Irving admits he called LeBron James to apologize for past disagreements and ask for leadership advice.

"I had to call Bron and tell him, I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips, and I wanted everything to be at my threshold. I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people. Bron was one of those guys that came to Cleveland and tried to show us what it’s like to win a championship. And it was hard for him and sometimes getting the most out of the group is not the easiest thing in the world.

" ... So, I think what that brought me back to was like, all right, how do I get the best out of this group to the success they had last year and then helping them realize what it takes to win a championship.”

February 1, 2019: Irving appears to renege on his October promise, instead insisting he'll make the decision that's best for him.

"At the end of the day, I’m going to do what’s best for my career. I spent the last eight years trying to do what everyone else wanted me to do -- managers, other personnel -- and I don't owe anybody shit.

"I still have confidence in Boston and what they can promise for the future and what we have in terms of pieces. That’s what excited me at the beginning of the season."

"... It’s my decision at the end of the day. Who cares who said what’s best for him, like, it doesn’t matter. It’s unwarranted commentary, and of course it’s going to continue throughout the season. I’m aware of that. I’m a professional, I’m not going to disrespect anybody but like I said, it really comes down to what’s best for me and my family."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Boston trims roster, Javonte Green appears to win final spot

Boston trims roster, Javonte Green appears to win final spot

The Boston Celtics waived Max Strus, Kaiser Gates, and Yante Maten on Saturday, trimming their roster to the regular-season limit of 17.

With the moves, summer league standout Javonte Green appears to have clinched the team’s 15th roster spot. Gates and Maten will have a chance to latch on with the Maine Red Claws as affiliated players after they clear waivers.

The Celtics signed Strus to a 2-way deal after he went undrafted then promoted him to the 15-man roster earlier this week on a partially guaranteed deal. That opened a 2-way slot to sign 7-foot-7 Tacko Fall.

Strus played well late in the exhibition slate and made 5 of his 12 3-point attempts overall. The combination of Fall’s potential and his popularity forced the team to maneuver. With help from his springy hops, Green made 16 of his 20 shots in the preseason and showed an ability to be an aggressive perimeter defender, helping him edge Strus in the competition for the final spot on the parent roster.

The Celtics open the regular season on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

FORSBERG: What does Pascal Siakam's deal mean for Jaylen Brown?>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

What does Pascal Siakam's deal mean for Jaylen Brown?

What does Pascal Siakam's deal mean for Jaylen Brown?

Pascal Siakam became the third member of the 2016 draft class to ink a maximum-salary extension after reportedly agreeing to a four-year, $130 million extension with the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.

Siakam took the four-year max after both Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and Denver’s Jamal Murray previously agreed to five-year extensions this summer. Siakam becomes the face of Toronto’s future as the Kawhi-less Raptors move forward from last year’s championship season.

What does Siakam’s agreement mean for Boston’s Jaylen Brown?

Brown, if he does not come to an agreement with the Celtics on an extension before Monday night’s deadline, is now positioned to be maybe the marquee name among the 2020 free-agent class. With many potential big names off the board — including Draymond Green who agreed to an extension with the Warriors this summer — Brown would be a desirable target for teams even as a restricted free agent.

(This, of course, assumes Anthony Davis elects to re-sign with the Lakers if he opts out of the final year of his deal.)

The more sobering news for Brown is that only a handful of teams currently project to have more than $20 million in cap space next summer. And with many eyes already focused on the potential bumper crop of big-name free agents on the market in 2021, it could limit the among of bidders willing to spend their money, especially while having to wait out an offer sheet that Boston could simply match.

The Celtics have made multiple offers to Brown and his new agent, Jason Glushon, in the ramp to Monday’s deadline. Glushon has been at the team’s practice facility each of the past two days and both sides seem content with how talks have proceeded.

The question is whether they can arrive at a number that works for both sides before Monday’s deadline. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge seemed to hint this week that Boston has already gone higher with its bid than a four-year, $80 million offer that was reported earlier this week. Brown is eligible to receive up to $130 million on a four-year extension (any five-year deal would have to be for the $170 max).

If the sides can find a middle ground — let’s say somewhere in the four-year, $100 million range — maybe there’s a deal to be made before Monday. But Brown could also bank on himself in hopes that a team would commit upwards of max money next summer.

Ainge noted Thursday night how it’s a delicate dance for both team and player.

"I think that when you’re doing a contract extension you’ve got to feel good about it, and the players have to feel good about it, and sometimes it’s hard for you to feel good,” said Ainge. "Sometimes you need the market to dictate what it is you’re going to get paid. So we’re trying to build a championship team and there’s a lot that goes into that, and part of it is managing a payroll.

"And for a player—I’ve been on that side of it, too. It’s basically all about you. It’s your world and you’re comparing yourself to others and it’s a complicated process in some year. Some years you know you’re not going to get a deal or have a deal. And some years a player has more leverage and other years a team has more leverage. So that’s why they’re complicated.”

How does a general manager avoid a player feeling insulted if a team doesn’t want to immediately pay their asking price?

"Again, every negotiation is different,” said Ainge. "Every circumstance, every year, how much money we even have. Some years we don’t even want to do it because we want to preserve salary cap space. There’s a lot of things that go into how much you offer or when you make an offer for a player. But I try to do all I can to show how much I appreciate that players and how much we love them and appreciate what they do.

"It’s just, timing matters.”

Jaylen Brown contract talks being monitored by several teams>>> 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.