Kyrie Irving
AP Photo

Stephen A. Smith flexed his media muscle on “First Take,” linking disgruntled Celtics guard Kyrie Irving to the New York Knicks.

Geoffrey Campbell

Few are as plugged into the NBA underpinnings as Stephen A. Smith. As a result, New York Knicks fans could already see the smoke in the air when he told his First Take co-hosts that Kyrie Irving is headed to the big apple.

Smith’s claim comes on the heels of yet another bombshell he dropped last week. Smith explained that both Irving and Kevin Durant have a 95 percent chance of signing with the Knicks this offseason.

Irving’s recent exit from the playoffs and his mercurial relationship with the Celtics have given many around the league reason to believe that his playing days with Boston are over.

In regards to Durant, despite the rumors and off-the-court business interests, few can really claim to know what the 10-time All-Star will do this summer. In the meantime, Durant’s focus is on getting healthy and helping the Golden State Warriors win their third NBA-championship in a row and fourth title in five years.

During the First Take segment, Smith also stated that Irving is not going to the Los Angeles Lakers to team up with LeBron James. Irving apologized to James midseason after demanding a trade from Cleveland to get out from under his shadow. Yet, despite the mended relationship, it appears that Uncle Drew still has his sights set on a market without the King.

If Smith is correct and both Irving and Durant decide to take on the challenge of winning in New York City, the storylines are endless. The Knicks, almost immediately become a win-now team and developing the young players on the squad becomes an afterthought. Moreover, with two alpha closers like Durant and Irving, one will wonder how head coach David Fizdale navigates both personalities. Better yet, how will the media deal with them?

In the end, these are good problems to have as the Knicks are likely to have completely different roster next season. With almost $72 million in predicted cap space, the only question is whether the Knicks will have some of the NBA’s elite playing in the garden, or will they strike out and have to settle form their backup plan.

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