Back in June, Kyrie Irving refused to commit to a future with the Celtics and reports indicated that he would consider the New York Knicks as a free agent destination. Irving won’t hit the open market until he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019, but it’s never too early for any of the downtrodden NY squads to start thinking about how they are going to rise from the abyss.
According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Brooklyn Nets may also be in the running for Irvings services in 2019.
Stein added, “Irving’s intentions are not at all clear at this point.”
“There have been no firm indications from Irving or his camp that the All-Star guard is eyeing an exit from Boston next summer or that hes angling to go to New Yorkas is often speculated,” he wrote. The rumor is picking up steam within the media moshpit.
This Kyrie Irving/Knicks thing is real. In an era when people are joining forces regularly, in and out of sports, don’t tell me New York’s not viable…it’s a real thing.” -@ColinCowherd https://t.co/u16N9LsRSQ
One month ago, The Shadow League offered a possible scenario where Minnesotas disgruntled superstar Jimmy Butler could join Irving as a free agent in New York City, teaming up with Kristaps Porzingis to form a Big Three and thrust the Knicks back into relevance.
2019 New York Knicks according to Enes Kanter: – Kyrie Irving – Jimmy Butler – Kevin Knox – Enes Kanter – Kristaps Porzingis
Irving who is on a Celtics team that has plenty of younger and cheaper talent might want to eventually try his hand at conquering the Bright Lights of The Big Apple — something LeBron James never had the passion to do. Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports thinks the Celtics should be worried.
I think theyre scared, Mannix said in his June podcast. I think theyre scared and should be scared to some degree of Kyrie Irving walking in 2019. I know he had a great year, but you know there are people in Cleveland that will tell you that the Knicks should be considered a real threat for Kyrie Irving. Because Kyrie had talked about it, about playing with the Knicks with some players in that Cleveland locker room from what I was told.
How the Celtics fare this season will have a huge impact on whether or not Irving returns to Boston. A championship season means Irving had a stellar season, fitting in nicely with the Celtics’ young nucleus and Gordon Hayward. An underachieving season could spark Irvings exit and eventual arrival in New York City, where the Knicks could use the 26-year-old’s averages of 24.4 points, 5.1 assists, 1.1 steals and a career-high 49.1 percent from the floor
According to Bleacher Report, however, the Knicks figure to have stiff competition from Irving’s current employer.
Citing sources connected to Irving, the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett reported the All-Star floor general “is quite pleased with his Celtic surroundings and has been talking about the future here beyond 2018-19.”
Irving, who has a player option for the 2018-19 season that he’ll likely not exercise, has opted not to address his impending decision.
Nets, #Knicks Targeting Kyrie Irving https://t.co/JSffvzaU8Z
“Well, I mean I know that question is going to come up a lot over the next year, just based upon where my deal is,” he told the New York Times’ Sopan Deb. “And, you know, that time will arise and when it does, I think I’ll have a better, clear, concise answer for a lot of people that are going to ask. Yeah, I just have to take it as being present with the Boston Celtics. You know, and just going into this year with the mindset of trying to win a championship.”
The Knicks’ Enes Kanter isn’t afraid to talk about the possibilities of Irving and Butler coming to New York next summer. As the Celtics win games and the Knicks continue to lose games it’s going to be a topic of discussion.
Enes Kanter genuinely believes Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler will sign with the Knicks next summer. https://t.co/ZtQDZm02VH
Knicks fans already hate the Celtics and have more of a reason to root against them this season. If things fell apart a bit in Boston and the chemistry just isn’t right, that would give the Knicks a better chance of signing Irving, if he truly would consider playing in New York. Its 11 months away, so a lot can happen between now and then. There will undoubtedly be other teams vying for the five-time All-Stars services with a better chance of competing at an elite level right away, so the Knicks have to contend with the competition as well.
In the meantime, Steve Mills, Scott Perry and David Fizdale have to put things in motion with the intention of persuading Kyrie, who doesnt lack the ego, to take a crack at Madison Square Garden in 2019.