Kyrie Irving To Consider Playing For New York Knicks Next Year
on Jul 05, 2018 09:42 PM EDT
Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving could move to his third team when he turns free agent after this season.
According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, Irving could consider the New York Knicks as his next destination when he becomes a free agent. Before the Cleveland Cavaliers shipped him to the Celtics last summer, Irving wanted to be traded to the Knicks.
Ian Begley of ESPN reports that some NBA executives believe that Irving will consider the Knicks if he tests the free-agent market. Irving has two years remaining from the five-year, $94-million deal that he signed with the Cavaliers, but he has the option to turn free agent next summer.
Celtics Afraid To Lose Kyrie Irving
It is expected that the Celtics could sign Irving to a long-term extension rather than lose him to free agency after just two years. The Celtics traded several key players, including point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first-round pick.
In his podcast, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports says the Celtics should be scared to some degree about the possibility of Irving leading after the 2018-19 season. In 60 games last season, Irving averaged 24.4 points, 3.8 boards, and 5.1 assists.
However, Irving missed the remainder of the season and the playoffs after he underwent knee surgery. During the procedure, two screws were removed from Irving's left patella.
Knicks To Prepare For Next Summer
Knicks head coach David Fizdale says the Knicks front office, headed by team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry, is putting the team in a better position to go after big-name free agents next summer. In 2019, the Knicks are expected to have a salary cap room of $44.7 million, per Spotrac,
"I just feel like if we continue to build this the right way, [Perry and Mills] have done an incredible job of lining it up so that we're in a position next summer to make moves," said Fizdale, who was hired by the Knicks in the summer after Jeff Hornacek was fired.
"I just feel like with the relationships we've built and our approach to the game and our view of players and the way we view guys and the way we treat guys and the culture we want to build I really think we're going to find somebody who fits the bill."
Aside from Irving, the other big-name players who will hit free agency are Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Jimmy Butler. Earlier, Irving and Butler expressed interest in playing together at some point in their respective careers.