Kyrie Irving is on the wishlist for the New York Knicks this summer, but the Brooklyn Nets may have the edge in free agency.
The upcoming summer should see a drastic change in the power balance all around the NBA. Kyrie Irving is one of the most highly coveted players on the market and both New York squads present an interesting opportunity for the point guard.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News is reporting that the All-Star point guard may have the upper hand in the race for Irving.
“New York is expected to make a summer run at point guard Kyrie Irving, but the Brooklyn Nets are also in the running for the enigmatic champion,” writes Bondy. “In fact, some sources around the league believe Irving prefers the Nets.”
Bondy also notes that former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin believes that Brooklyn fits Irving better.
“I think Brooklyn is the fit that’s better for him in terms of his mindset,” Griffin said. “I think he likes what they’ve done there, culturally.”
At the same time, it’s unclear how aggressive the Nets will be with Irving. Brooklyn has an emerging star point guard of their own—D’Angelo Russell. It’s unlikely that those two could coexist. If the Nets are pursuing Irving, it would be at the expense of Russell—a restricted free agent.
It’s an interesting decision for Brooklyn. They can sign the championship-winning point guard with some injury concerns or they can stick with the 23-year-old point guard they developed into an All-Star. Of course, it would be very hard to pass up on Irving, but Brooklyn’s plan for the summer is still unclear.
Meanwhile, the Knicks would love to convince Irving to play in Madison Square Garden full-time. New York has the cap space to sign Irving and another superstar. It’s likely that Kevin Durant will at least consider the Knicks. One would have to believe that signing Durant would be a positive in swaying Irving.
While free agency watching has become a year-long event, we won’t know anything for sure until July. For now, this is all speculation. But we do know one thing for certain. The Knicks and the Nets will have strong pitches for free agents this summer.
Irving’s Celtics take on the Nets in Brooklyn at 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. Irving is missing the game with left knee soreness.