On Thursday night, Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving
In fact, news also broke today that Irving has spent the past couple weeks expressing that sentiment to the team's front office.
Sources: Kyrie Irving has met with Celtics ownership and has been direct with his message to Boston's brass over past few months: He's committed long-term to the franchise.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 4, 2018
This comes as somewhat of a surprise considering his (assumed) intentions when leaving the Cavs, as most people believed that he wished to rid himself of LeBron James' ever-increasing shadow and lead his own team. Reports even said that Irving never wanted LeBron
However, re-signing with this Celtics team is hardly leading a team to a championship on your own. First of all, the roster is stacked, as they went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last year without their two best players in Irving and Gordon Hayward. Their young core of Jayson Tatum (20), Jaylen Brown (21), Marcus Smart (24), and Terry Rozier (24), in addition to Irving (26), figure to scare the league for at least the next five years. That doesn't even include the draft picks the Celtics own, such as the Kings' first-rounder this year as long as it doesn't end up being the No. 1 pick.
There have even been questions over the offseason about his value over Rozier, who filled in admirably as his backup during the postseason.
Which is the better value??— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) October 4, 2018
* Kyrie Irving at $141 million over 4 years
* Terry Rozier at $44 million over 4 years
With all this talent, the Celtics stress ball movement and off-ball action, which limits the number of touches per game for a star like Irving. Last year, Irving ranked 10th in usage rate in the entire NBA at 30.7 percent, and that was in a season without Hayward. In 2016, on the Cavs with LeBron, Irving was 12th in the league in usage at 30.2 percent, so he shouldn't be expecting an increase from his current norm.
It seems that Irving's decision to be a lone star may have been overblown, and he was more sick of being treated as a subordinate to LeBron off the court, not on it. The Celtics are set to dominate the East for the foreseeable future, and although Kyrie may not be the lone wolf at the top, sometimes it's better to bring backups.