By Matt Citak
While the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to work on a solution to Kyrie Irving’s recent trade request, the All-Star point guard reportedly would like to become a member of the Knicks.
According to ESPN’s Pablo Torre (via Clevis Murray of Def Pen Hoops), Irving “very badly” wants to play for New York.
The four-time All-Star gave the Cavaliers a list of preferred trade destinations last week, a group that included the Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, and Minnesota Timberwolves, Chris Haynes of ESPN reported. However Irving has at least two more years on his contract (the third year is a player option) and his contract does not contain a no-trade clause, meaning Cleveland can trade him to any team in the league.
It has been reported that Irving wants to be traded in part because he no longer wants to be the No. 2 guy behind LeBron James. Instead, he would prefer to be in a situation “where he can be more of a focal point,”according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
The Knicks would certainly provide Irving with that opportunity. Carmelo Anthony can still be a high-volume scorer, as evidenced by his 22.4 points per game last season. However he no longer serves as a cornerstone of a franchise. And while Kristaps Porzingis has a ton of potential and looks poised to become one of the league’s stars in the future, he is still only 21 and has yet to put everything together.
Irving would provide the Knicks a franchise building block to put next to Porzingis. The point guard averaged 25.2 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.2 rebounds last season, while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from behind the 3-point line.
The Knicks have not made the playoffs since the 2012-2013 season, and have not won more than 37 games in a season during that span.