Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving
26-Year-Old GuardG
Boston Celtics
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Last season, Irving was cruising through an MVP-caliber campaign before being struck down in March with a left knee issue that led to an early end to his season. While Terry Rozier performed admirably during Irving’s absence, it was clear the Celtics needed Irving’s superstar talent and ability to create his own shot during crunch time. Now, the bigger question is this: Can Irving stay healthy? Irving has averaged 63 games per season over his seven year career. Knowing that Rozier deserves more minutes, Boston might be wise to periodically rest its star point guard in preparation for what will likely be another deep playoff run. On a more positive note, Irving shot a career high 49% percent from the field last season, and it seems relatively safe to assume Irving’s hot shooting will continue, given the amount of talent around him. The Celtics' depth across the board is borderline-historic, and while that could mean less of a workload for Irving, there's no question that Boston is at its best when the five-time All-Star is on the floor. The return of Gordon Hayward could result in Irving ceding some playmaking responsibilities, but the 26-year-old still managed the second-highest scoring average of his career last season, despite adjusting to a new system and playing nearly three fewer minutes per game, compared to his final year in Cleveland. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $94.34 million contract extension with the Cavaliers in July of 2014. Traded to the Celtics in August of 2017.
No restrictions expected for regular season
GBoston Celtics
September 18, 2018
Irving (knee) isn't expected to have any restrictions when the regular season opens Oct. 16 against the 76ers, David Aldridge of TNT reports.
ANALYSIS
Irving has been deemed fully healthy for three weeks now and with another month to go before the opener, he should have plenty of time to get comfortable with his knee and back into game shape. While the Celtics have excellent depth in the backcourt with both Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier, Irving is still headed for a 30-plus minute role, so he should come off the board in the first two or three rounds of most fantasy drafts. The injury concerns are still there after missing at least 19 games in each of the last three years and he's also going to have to adjust to playing with Gordon Hayward, but he's still an All-Star candidate and will do the bulk of the play-making in Boston.
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Kyrie Irving NBA Stats
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Kyrie Irving 2017–18 NBA Game Log
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Depth Chart Status
#1 Point Guard
Boston Celtics Point Guard Depth Chart
Average Fantasy Points
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
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2011
Wow, isn’t it hard to believe Irving is in Boston? Regardless of location, the starting point guard will still be asked to carry a heavy load with the Celtics. Remember, Isaiah Thomas took 19.4 shots per game last season, only a hair below Irving’s 19.7. Most of those shots will be redistributed to Irving, who will be free of LeBron James' control of the offense. And Irving delivers the same elite free-throw percentage as Thomas. One assumes it will take some time for Irving, fellow new Celtic Gordon Hayward, and center Al Horford to gel on offense. Coach Brad Stevens tends to run fewer isolation plays than Irving saw with Cleveland, so there will be an adjustment period for the two new stars to learn Boston’s passing schemes. But this new roster wasn’t put together to win in December. Expect continuous improvement through the season. And remember, there were many times last season when the Celtic offense crumbled, forcing Thomas to improvise. That’s a role Irving should relish. Expect Irving’s minutes to stay high, as the trade weakened Boston’s depth. And look for some very exciting revenge games between these two Eastern division rivals, beginning in Cleveland on Opening Night (Oct. 17).
After missing the first 24 games of the season while recovering from surgery to repair a fractured kneecap, Irving initially struggled to regain his All-Star form, averaging 16.4 points and 3.8 assists while shooting 42.6 percent from the field and just 25.3 percent from three-point range through his first 20 games back. However, the dynamic point guard eventually hit his stride, posting averages of 21.6 points and 5.2 assists over the season's final 33 games. In that same span, Irving converted 46 percent of his field goals and 35 percent of his three-point attempts, helping the Cavaliers secure the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Irving was spectacular in the postseason, shooting nearly 48 percent from the floor and knocking down 44 percent of his treys. While he was relatively quiet in Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals, Irving put up 30.8 points, 4.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game over the remaining five games, headlined by a 41-point, six-assist performance in a Game 5 victory that sent the series back to Cleveland. Additionally, Irving memorably knocked down the game-winning three-pointer over the Warriors' Stephen Curry late in Game 7, solidifying his place as one of the NBA's premier point guards. On the heels of strong showing with the United States team in the 2016 Summer Olympics, Irving will enter 2016-17 as a candidate to make the leap toward true superstar status. While it would be foolish to underestimate LeBron James, it's reasonable to think the reigning Finals MVP could coast during the regular season, which would open the door for Irving to take on even more of a lead role offensively. If he can continue to score efficiently and return to being a 40-percent three-point shooter, Irving should have no problem reclaiming his spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
After three seasons of wallowing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Irving was able to enjoy a highly-successful season as LeBron James' wingman. The 6-3 guard played in a career-high 75 games and put up his best field goal percentage (47 percent) and three-point conversion rate (42 percent for 2.1 three-pointers per game) during the regular season with averages of 21.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.3 blocks. Irving was unable to stay away from the injury bug in the playoffs, and his first postseason ended in the opening game of the Finals with a fractured left kneecap. He is not expected to be ready for the start of the 2015-16 season, and injuries continue to be a concern for the fifth-year guard. It may be that coach David Blatt will need to monitor Irving's minutes since he played 36 per game last season. With Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova coming off the bench, Irving may be best served to play closer to 30 minutes rather than 35, so the three-time All-Star can survive the season unscathed. He is just 23 years old, so he should be able to continue to put up excellent numbers across the board when he's healthy, but that may not be until January.
Kyrie Irving took a slight step back in his third year in the league in 2013-14, but the All-Star point guard steps into a new world this season with the addition of LeBron James to the squad. Irving played a career-high 71 games and averaged 35 minutes, quelling some of the durability concerns that had plagued him in his first two seasons. His averages of 20.8 points on 43 percent shooting from the field and 1.7 three-pointers on 36 percent shooting from long range were all down a tick from his second season. Irving also provided 3.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game. He hit 86 percent of his free throws. With James and Kevin Love on the team, Irving will need to adjust to not always being the focus of the offense and try to help his team in other ways beyond scoring. New coach David Blatt will try to install a Princeton-style offense that will encourage players to move without the ball, and Irving will need to adjust to his third coach in four years as well. There have also been concerns about Irving's lackadaisical perimeter defense, which will need to be shored up to help discourage opposing players from penetrating (since Cleveland does not have a great rim protector). On the plus side, playing with better teammates should allow Irving to take easier shots, so his shooting percentages may rise.
In his first two seasons in the NBA, Kyrie Irving has displayed almost every quality you'd want to see in a top point guard. He's one of the quickest guards in the league. He sees the floor well and has an excellent feel for the game. He shoots from distance well enough (39 percent) to keep opposing defenses honest, which makes him even tougher to guard off the dribble. And while he isn't a great defender at this stage of the game, he has improved on that end of the floor and should take another step forward with defense-minded head coach Mike Brown taking over the Cavs this year. The only real area of concern is Irving's inability to stay on the floor; a variety of nagging injuries limited him to 51 games played as a rookie and 59 games last year. The addition of veteran guard Jarrett Jack may help Irving this year; Mike Brown is expected to play Irving off the ball at times, with Jack running the offense. That could boost Irving's scoring a bit and reduce some of the strain associated with playing point guard full time.
The Cavaliers got an immediate return on their investment in Kyrie Irving, as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft looks like a real star--and future Olympian. Irving is lightning-quick, has outstanding handle and superior court vision for a player his age, which enabled him to post impressive averages of 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and shoot nearly 40 percent from three-point range. The fact that he dealt with several nagging injuries during the season makes those overall numbers even more impressive. Cleveland was involved in several potential Dwight Howard trades, but the only major addition they made this offseason is Dion Waiters (fourth overall pick), a poor man's Dwyane Wade type out of Syracuse. That means Irving--with Waiters and Tristan Thompson--will continue to be the focus of Cleveland's offense. Irving did suffer a hand injury while working out with Team USA's select team--the group of up-and-comers that scrimmages against Team USA before international competitions--but is expected to be completely healthy before training camp.
The future of the Cavaliers, Irving will make a huge impact in his rookie season. Irving’s electrifying speed, great court awareness and exceptional ball-handling ability will be on display from the get go. He will be one of the top contenders for the Rookie of the Year award as he will produce solid steal, assist and point totals.
More Fantasy News
Fully healthy as camp approaches
GBoston Celtics
August 28, 2018
Irving is fully healthy after spending much of the summer rehabbing the knee injury that sidelined him for the final month of the 2017-18 regular season and playoffs, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Expects to be 100 percent for camp
GBoston Celtics
Knee
July 26, 2018
Irving (knee) has yet to go through full contact 5-on-5, though noted after Thursday's morning workout that he expects to be 100 percent for the start of training camp, freelance basketball reporter Jeff Goodman reports.
ANALYSIS
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Expected at full strength by August
GBoston Celtics
Knee
June 20, 2018
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Monday that he expects Irving (knee) to be "pretty close to full tilt by the end of July, August first-ish," Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reports.
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Undergoes nasal surgery
GBoston Celtics
Knee
May 28, 2018
Irving (knee) underwent a nasal septum deviation surgery Sunday, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe reports.
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Walking without crutches
GBoston Celtics
Knee
April 16, 2018
Irving (knee) is already able to walk without crutches and his recovery is going well, Jay King of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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