The rumors continue to swirl around the Knicks' plans for this upcoming offseason, and Celtics G Kyrie Irving is right in the middle of them. In fact, he may be the most important piece.
NBC Sports Boston's A. Sherrod Blakely spoke on NBC Sports Chicago's "Bulls Talk" podcast on Wednesday, and he divulged what he is hearing about the Knicks' intentions with Irving in 2019.
"I can tell you right now, the New York Knicks, he is their No. 1 target," Blakely said.
Irving is not only their No. 1 target, but with a free agent class that is expected to include players like Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, and Klay Thompson, the Knicks have their heart set on the dynamic point guard over anyone else.
"I've spoken with people within that organization," Blakely continued. "They have made it absolutely crystal clear to me that, if they had their pick of guys that are going to be in the free agent market (next) summer, Kyrie would be the first, second, third and fourth choice."
The match in New York for Irving is perfect. He grew up in West Orange, N.J., so he would be returning close to home. The Knicks are also looking for a consistent presence at the point guard position, with Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, and Emmanuel Mudiay all set to play at the one this season.
There is also the Knicks' expected cap room that should be able to land Irving, and even a player like Butler to pair him with. Knicks C Enes Kanter already believes his team has a chance to get both players, and that Irving and Butler would want to come to New York too.
"Yes," he told Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd when asked if Irving and Butler have geunine interest in joining the Knicks. "And the Knicks have a really, really high chance to get them next offseason. I believe that and I promise I think they will."
It will be long before the Knicks can sell their pitches to the impending free agents, but expect them to bring out all the bells and whistle for Irving.