The Celtics point guard, speaking to fans gathered inside TD Garden on Thursday night, all but committed to remaining in Boston well after he hits free agency next summer.
"If you guys will have me back", Irving told the crowd, "I plan on re-signing here next year".
However, according to Shams Charania of Stadium, Irving said at a public event he doesn't plan on departing Beantown when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July.
The comment drew a raucous reaction from the crowd.
Nine months before Irving can officially sign a new contract, the Celtics may have already wrapped up one of July's most coveted free agents.
President Trump heaps praises on First Lady Melania during her Africa tour
Trump toured classrooms at Lilongwe's Chipala Primary School, which gets textbooks and other education assistance from the U.S. "I also wanted to be sure to personally thank each of you for the work that you do here at the embassy in Malawi", she added.
The All-Star point guard now says he wants to stay in Boston.
With Irving and Hayward back healthy and James in the Western Conference, many believe the Celtics are the front runners to take the East this season and play in the NBA Finals.
He joined Boston in a trade from the Cavaliers last August, but his season ended in March as he dealt with persistent knee trouble.
Irving, 26, carries career averages of 22.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.9 minutes in 441 games, with a shooting line of 46.2/38.8/87.5. He was the Rookie of the Year in 2011-12 after Cleveland selected him first overall out of Duke.
There has been much chatter concerning this forthcoming free agency class in the National Basketball Association.