BOSTON (CBS) — Breathe easy, Celtics fans. Kyrie Irving wants to stick around for a while.
The superstar guard announced Thursday night at an event for fans at the TD Garden that he intends to remain a member of the Celtics beyond the expiration of his current contract.
“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,” Irving told the crowd while standing on the Garden parquet.
The crowd, naturally, erupted with applause.
“I appreciate it,” Irving responded.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania also reported that Irving has informed the Celtics’ ownership group recently that he plans to sign a long-term deal after the season.
The announcement comes after an offseason of speculation surrounding Irving. But it appears as though that speculation served only as a time-filler, as Irving has made up his mind for his future.
Due to restrictions about how much that next contract could be worth, Irving can’t sign a new deal until the conclusion of the season. But it now appears that his free-agent decision has already been made.