That is the view of ESPN’s NBA analyst Tim McMahon.
Irving is due a new contract in the summer if as expected he opts out of the final year on his current agreement, and is expected to be offered the biggest contract possible, worth $180million over five years.
But he could walk away from that deal, however.
The star promised fans in October that he plans on staying in Boston, insisting that he fully intends to re-sign with the franchise.
Recently though, Irving has been non-committal regarding his future.
On February 1, he refused to confirm that he still plans on staying, and instead suggested that his mind was not made up yet.
He simply stated: “Ask me on July 1.”
If he chooses to opt out of the final year of his contract, he will become a free agent this summer and have the chance to negotiate terms elsewhere, with the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks both touted as potential destinations.
And McMahon believes that Irving would be right to sign a one-and-one contract – which would guarantee he stays in Boston another year before giving him a player option for 2020-21.
“When Kyrie committed to them in October I felt the whole time that it was a play to get the Celtics to offer the five-year max salary contract,” he explained on the Hoop Collective podcast.
“I could be wrong, because one of the things that came out of the Anthony Davis situation was that it is a mistake for prime players – not Chris Paul or LeBron James in their 30s – but players in their 20s, to sign a five-year max.
In Anthony Davis’ case there was no out. There was no player option or eto.
“In Kyrie’s case, he does have an opt-out, which is why he has the chance to be a free agent this summer.
“In the modern era, when players want flexibility, they just shouldn’t sign a five-year max.
“Even Kyrie with his knee issues, he’s a free agent this summer and everyone will offer him a max contract.
“Maybe he won’t sign a five-year max, maybe he’ll sign a one-plus-one [one year with player option].
“That was one thing I thought from the beginning, Kyrie is committing to a contract that hasn’t been offered yet, and maybe they did, maybe they gave him a wink and a nod, but coming off his injuries that he’s had and his surgeries, I’m not sure they would have offered him that.”