According to this latest report from Ian Begley of SNY, the All-Star point guard is leaning towards leaving the Celtics -- with the New York Knicks being a possible destination for the former NBA champion.
"That applies to Irving as well. His plans/desires today may not be the same as they are on June 30. With that said, in recent days, people around Irving have described the probability of him returning to Boston as a free agent as low. Celtics GM Danny Ainge told reporters Wednesday that they haven't received any indication yet from Irving that he doesn't want to return to Boston.
Those around Irving also said recently that he hasn't ruled out teams -- including the Knicks -- as possible destinations for him this summer, per SNY sources."
The 2018-19 season was a rough one for Irving and the Celtics. After being penciled in as the favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, they went through up-and-down struggles throughout the regular season before finishing up with just a 49-33 record and a fourth seed in the playoffs.
The low point for the Celtics may have come in January when Irving blasted his teammates, criticizing them for not knowing what it takes to be NBA champions. That prompted a response from younger players such as Jaylen Brown, who in return fired back at Irving for his comments.
The Knicks will be major players this offseason, having the cap space to sign two max-contract level players, with Irving and Kevin Durant most notably being linked to the Big Apple.
It's also worth noting that Irving has made amends with LeBron James, his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate. Irving had demanded a trade out of Cleveland, which landed him with the Celtics prior to the 2017-18 season. Irving reportedly wanted to have his own team and be a leader -- but he's learned over the past two seasons that it's not quite as easy as he may have thought.
With Irving entering free agency this offseason, he'll have no shortage of suitors -- the Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets will all be interested in him -- and he'll have the opportunity to pair up with a fellow superstar and be a part of a championship-caliber squad without the pressure of being the leader.