Sports Q: Will Kyrie Irving be with the Celtics next season?

Call for calm or panic with other Celtics fans at The Sports Q.

Kyrie Irving Anthony Davis
Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis came together when the Celtics played New Orleans in November. Could they unite on a different team in the near future? –AP Photo

Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through TwitterFacebook, email, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate, but you drive the conversation.

No one knows anything right now other than Kyrie, and I’m not even sure he has made up his mind yet. But what’s your best guess? Will he be with the Celtics next year?  — Tim S.

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Hoo-boy. A lot to unpack here.

Kyrie hasn’t been with the Celtics for two years yet, but we know him well enough to say these things with confidence:

  • He’s a truly brilliant basketball player, one of the best long-range clutch shooters, finishers in traffic, and ball-handling magicians I’ve ever seen. He is an all-time talent, a genius at the game’s geometry, and the Celtics haven’t had a player who is more fun to watch since No. 33.
  • He likes being cryptic on even the most ordinary of days. He’s introspective and can be profound, but sometimes after you transcribe his quotes you’re left wondering what the point was supposed to be.
  • This melodrama is his doing. All of it. I’ve heard from some Celtics fans today who are blaming the media for this becoming a big story. That’s absurd, but I get it: No one wants to believe it’s a possibility he’s going to leave and blow up Danny Ainge’s thus-far extraordinarily well-executed plan.

Better just to cover your ears and blame us for asking about his plans the day after a franchise that strongly believes it appeals to him trades its best player to clear salary cap space.

There was a really easy way for Kyrie to handle this. All he had to say today was, “I said in October that I planned to stay here if you would have me back, and nothing has changed.” Instead, it’s “Ask me on July 1,” and “things this season haven’t gone as I planned,” and some more cryptic stuff. Some encouraging, some ominous, and none of it clear.

I mean, even saying “Boston is still ahead of the race” isn’t exactly reassuring considering we thought the race was over and we all gobbled up that commercial with his dad Drederick when he talked about wanting his number in the rafters at the Garden. Maybe he meant Madison Square Garden. Who knows.

I do know this: I’d love to see his younger teammates’ text thread about all of this.

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To answer the question, do I think he leaves? Right now, at this moment, yes, I do. I think the Nets fans’ taunt a few weeks ago that Kyrie is leaving will prove prescient. But I’ll follow his precedent and reserve the right to change my mind before July 1.

What does everyone else think? Will Kyrie be with the Celtics next year? I’ll hear you in the comments, unless I change my mind on that too.

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