Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving could leave the Celtics this summer when he enters free agency. In this picture, Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics and Team LeBron drives the ball against Team Giannis in the first quarter during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Feb. 17, 2019. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving was expected to remain with the Boston Celtics in the long-term after the point guard verbally committed to the team during an interaction in front of the fans at TD Garden prior to the start of the 2018-19 season. But he has since taken back his commitment and now it looks more likely that he could leave the team when he enters free agency in the summer.

The six-time All-Star guard refused to reiterate his desire to stay in Boston when asked about his free agency plans recently by simply stating: “I don’t owe anyone s---, ask me on July 1”. And that indicates he could consider leaving the team he joined via trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017.

At the time of his arrival, it was said that Irving was keen to form his own legacy by getting out from under the shadow of LeBron James, arguably the greatest player of the current generation with whom he had won the NBA championship in 2016 with the Cavaliers. Irving was keen to lead a team of his own and he got that opportunity in Boston.

However, things are not going as planned at the moment with the Celtics, who were considered favorites to progress from the Eastern Conference currently in fifth place. Irving recently called out his teammates for their lack of experience and then called James to apologize to him for not seeing the bigger picture when he was with the Cavaliers.

All this complaining and rekindling his relationship with James has given rise to speculation about his next destination if he leaves the Celtics. The New York Knicks are said to be favorites to land the guard owing to their proximity to his hometown of New Jersey. But Chris Haynes has thrown in the possibility of James trying to tempt him to move to Los Angeles and rekindle their partnership with the Lakers.

"New York has always been a play,” Haynes told the Hoops Hype Podcast, as transcribed by the Express. “But he is communicating again with LeBron James. You would have to think LeBron James would be ringing his phone, maybe before the summer.”

The Lakers are also interested in Anthony Davis, who will be available for trade in the summer, but the Celtics are also big admirers of the power forward and have the best assets to offer the New Orleans Pelicans. But Davis' arrival in Boston, although uncertain, is connected to Irving's long-term future with the Celtics and if the latter does leave in the summer, the Pelicans forward is unlikely to want to join Brad Stevens' team. If he is forced to join the Celtics by the Pelicans, Davis is certain to leave them when he enters free agency in 2020.

“I put out the report initially that Anthony Davis was hesitant on Boston because he was unsure on Kyrie’s long-term status at Boston,” he added talking about Irving’s reversal about his commitment to the Celtics. “That’s when the s--- hit the fan.”

Meanwhile, Irving seems to be in a more positive mood despite back-to-back losses against the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls for the Celtics. He is certain they are still the front-runners in the Eastern Conference and that when it comes to a seven-game series, there is no team that can beat them.

"You know, it is what it is. Like I said, I don't get frustrated about this stuff anymore," Irving said post-game. "It's just part of the regular season. In the playoffs when we can plan for a team, prepare for a team, I still don't see anybody beating us in seven games."