The New Favorite to Sign Kyrie Irving Isn't the Knicks or the Celtics

May 08, 2019 - 11:12 am

(WEEI) The Boston Celtics can pay Kyrie Irving $80 million more than any other team this offseason. But they are far from the favorites to sign the mercurial point guard, according to the Vegas oddsmakers.

The Las Vegas sports books released their odds this week for where the NBA's top free agents will end up.

Irving's hometown Brooklyn Nets are currently listed as the favorites with +250 odds, ahead of the New York Knicks at +300. The Celtics are third at +350, despite their significant financial advantage. The Los Angeles Lakers (+750) -- where Irving would reunite with LeBron James -- and the Los Angeles Clippers (+1000) are also on the board.

Irving has been mum about his free agency since he told reporters in February to "ask him July 1" and declared he didn't "owe anybody s---." Prior to the start of the season, in what now constitutes as a distant memory, Irving told Celtics fans at TD Garden he would love to return -- if they would have him.

But most of those good feelings have subsided during the Celtics' tumultuous campaign, which could end Wednesday night in Milwaukee. The Celtics are down 3-1 in the second-round playoff series, losing three straight contests after taking Game 1. Irving has gone 19-for-62 from the floor during this stretch and played terrible defense.

Earlier this year, Irving acknowledged his apparent interest in playing for the perpetually moribund and chaotic Knicks, saying he holds "great respect" for the franchise. Last week, Nets forward Jared Dudley guaranteed his team would receive a meeting with Irving.

By Alex Reimer