Kyrie Irving Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the game between the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks at TD Garden on December 6, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It’s no secret that when the New York Knicks cleared cap space for two max free agents in Thursday’s Kristaps Porzingis trade, the organization did so with hopes of signing both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this summer. Before Friday’s game against the Boston Celtics, Irving only furthered the idea that the Knicks have a real shot to land him in the 2019 NBA offseason.

Before the season began, Irving told fans at TD Garden that he would re-sign with the Celtics if the team wanted him back. On Friday morning, the point guard admitted that there was no guarantee he’d stay in Boston beyond this year.

“Feeling emotionally invested, coming off an injury last season, trying to prove something. Trying to be very much of a team-oriented player which I am naturally. But at the end of the day, like I said, I’ve spent the last eight years trying to do what everybody else wanted me to do in terms making my decisions and trying to validate through the media, through other personnel, managers, anybody in this business and I don’t owe anybody s—t,” Irving told reporters, via The New York Daily News. “So for me, I think that the confidence that I have in myself and my abilities, I want to be able to control what I want to control.

“I still have confidence in Boston and what they can promise for the future and what they have in terms of our pieces. That’s what excited me a lot about the beginning of the season, was the opportunity to come into this season and doing what we planned on doing. Set a goal and go after it and then see what happens at the end of the season. That was the plan before and that’s still the plan now, obviously, Boston’s still at the head of that race. So that’s just where it stands.”

Irving indicated that the Celtics are the frontrunners to sign him when he becomes a free agent in July. Boston can offer him the most money, and they might give him the best chance to win future championships. The Celtics came one game shy of reaching last year’s NBA Finals when he was out with an injury, and the organization seems to have the best odds of trading for Anthony Davis this summer.

But this season hasn’t exactly gone as planned for Boston. The Celtics were the Eastern Conference favorites, and they are fifth in the East standings after 51 games. An early playoff exit wouldn’t help Boston in their hopes of keeping Irving.

Joining Durant in New York, not far from where Irving grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, would likely put the 26-year-old on one of the NBA’s best teams. Durant, of course, might choose to stay with the Golden State Warriors, who have dominated the NBA since he left Oklahoma City for the Bay Area.

The Los Angeles Lakers are another possibility for Irving. There’s increasing speculation that the All-Star is considering joining forces with LeBron James, once again.