Will Kyrie Irving Leave Boston? 'growing Uncertainty' Over All-Star's Future With Celtics

Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the first half of the game against the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden on January 09 in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving could leave Boston in the summer, despite vowing to re-sign with the Celtics at the beginning of the season.

The 26-year-old is in his second campaign with Boston, who acquired him from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2017.

Irving, who is averaging 23.7 points and 6.4 assists per game this season, can exercise a player option to become a free agent this summer—and seems inclined to do so.

According to Yahoo Sports, there is a "growing belief of uncertainty" surrounding Irving's commitment to Boston. The development marks a significant shift compared to his stance in September, when he told ESPN that he could not imagine playing anywhere else.

"I'm comfortable in the position I am in, and they know how I feel about them as teammates and the organization in general," Irving was quoted as saying.

"I'm happy to be a part of it, and I can't wait for it."

However, as the season progressed, the six-time All-Star seemed increasingly uncomfortable in his role of veteran tasked with leading the young Celtics towards the top of the Eastern Conference.

Earlier this month, Irving criticized his teammates following a road loss to Orlando, suggesting they "don't know what it takes to be a championship-level team."

He also argued with Celtics forward Gordon Hayward and coach Brad Stevens, after he felt the latter called the wrong play in the final seconds of the Celtics' loss to Orlando

"Experience," Irving told The Associated Press following the loss against the Magic. "We're lacking it, and because of that, we have a lot of learning to do."

In the aftermath of his outburst, the former Duke student then apologized to his teammates, after Celtics small forward Jaylen Brown told reporters he felt Irving should not have singled anyone out in public.

Irving's future and the Celtics' strategy next summer are closely intertwined. Along with the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks, Boston is understood to be among the teams looking to open negotiations with the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis.

The five-time All-Star requested to be traded away from New Orleans on Monday, but under NBA rules the Celtics would not be able to sign him until July 1.

The league wouldn't allow Davis's and Irving's contracts together on the roster under the designated rookie exception, which allows players coming off their rookie-scale deals to make up to 30 percent of the salary cap, rather than 25 percent.

According to ESPN, the Pelicans are in no rush to accept offers for Davis, which means he could remain in Louisiana past the February 7 deadline.

That would give Boston the chance to become a leading contender in the race for the Pelicans star, given the Celtics have more assets to include in a trade package than the Lakers.

However, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes suggested "Boston is not a top target" for Davis.