Jan 12, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles the ball during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jan 12, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles the ball during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Celtics star Kyrie Irving can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kevin Durant on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors...


June 12, 8:13 PM:

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Irving has decided to part ways with agent Jeff Wechsler, who has represented him since his rookie season. He is expected to partner with Roc Nation, which, of course, was founded by New York native Jay-Z. Interestingly enough, though, Roc Nation's president Michael Yormark is the twin brother of Nets CEO Brett Yormark, and Caris LeVert is another Roc Nation client.

Reports circulated earlier in the day that Irving will opt out of his current contract with the Celtics. Now, just 18 days from when free agents can begin meeting with teams, Irving has changed his representation.

June 12, 11:56 AM:

It looks like Irving has made his decision. 

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Irving will not opt back into his $21.3 million deal for next season with the Celtics. He will now become a free agent, where NBA teams including Boston can sign him to a new deal. 

This move was an expected one from Irving. He had an option date on Thursday.

The Nets are currently the most likely destination for Irving, per SNY Ian Begley's sources.

June 4, 7:46 PM:

According to ESPN's Stephen A. SmithKyrie Irving has "given every indication" to the Brooklyn Nets that he prefers to go there instead of the New York Knicks. SNY's Anthony Puccio reported on May 25 that there was mutual interest between Irving and the Nets.

May 14, 4:05 PM:

After Marc Stein said (with the caveat that it was "third-hand stuff") that he heard that Durant and Irving would look just as hard at the Nets as the Knicks, Stephen A. Smith (during his show) interjected and said the following:

"I heard that about Kyrie, not about KD. Kyrie and his folks -- his folks are trying to convince him to look heavily at the Nets."

Smith then reiterated what he said earlier this week -- there is a "95 percent chance" Durant and Irving sign with the Knicks. 

 

May 14, 10:57 AM:

After a frustrating season, Terry Rozier shed some light Tuesday on what it's like to play with Kyrie Irving while admitting that it was "very difficult" to adjust to his role with Irving back in the mix.

"He's a great guy, great leader," Rozier said on ESPN's "Get Up!" "You just have to adjust to his style. Whatever Kyrie wants done, he's gonna show it. That's what he wants done. You have to adjust to his style of play and how he goes about every game and every day."

May 13, 12:01 PM:

According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, there is a '95 percent' chance that Irving and Kevin Durant come to New York, with the only thing casting any doubt would be a change of heart from Durant. Smith also said he got a text from someone close to Irving's family which said, "There's no way in hell he's going to LA." Recent rumors have suggested Irving could be open to a reunion with LeBron James on the Lakers.

May 11 1:02 PM:

Bill Simmons of The Ringer said on his podcast Friday that he "heard a rumor" that the reason the Lakers' negotiation with Ty Lue deteriorated was because of his fractured relationship with Irving, not because of his contract. 

Simmons admits he does not know if it is true, but Irving being linked to the Lakers has gained some steam in recent days. ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on ESPN Radio that an Irving reunion with James should not be discounted. 

"I would've said that this is impossible for many months. But as time passes here and as the possibility exists that Jason Kidd could be hired as the Lakers coach, I think the possibility of Kyrie and LeBron reuniting - that door, which was deadbolted, has been un-deadbolted and has now been cracked open," Windhorst said. "… It might even be opening more by the day. And I say that just because I think it's on Kyrie's radar, it's on Kyrie's board. He has had discussions with people about playing for the Lakers."

May 9, 6:44 PM: Stadium's Jeff Goodman released an article on Thursday that has an anonymous Celtics player that had some things to say about Irving. 

"Everyone respects his talent," the player said earlier in the season, "but he's hard to play with. It's all about him."

A Cavs source also told Goodman that Irving "doesn't want to listen to anybody." If Irving does leave the Celtics, the Knicks will need to keep these accounts in mind.

May 9, 1:48 PM: As Irving beings to weigh his offseason decision, his teammates are here sticking up for him. Marcus Smart was asked by reporters if Irving was a "divisive leader," and Smart didn't hold back in his response. 

"That's just a bulls--t statement to say (Kyrie Irving's) leadership killed this team," Smart told CLNS's Scott Souza. "There are four other guys out there. There are 13 other guys on the team, coaches and everything. To just blame it on one guy is bulls--t."

Smart added that he looks at the All-Star point guard "as a brother."

May 9, 1:30 PM:

Two days after Caesars gave the Nets the best odds to sign Irving (see below), Odds Shark released odds that gave the Knicks the best odds:

Knicks +200
Nets +300
Celtics +325
Lakers +500
Clippers +800
Mavericks +1000
Raptors +1200

Irving, whose Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday night, spoke after the game about his future and gave no indication what he was planning to do. 

May 7, 2:29 PM:

While the Knicks have been the New York team linked to Irving the most, the Nets have a better shot to land him, according to odds released by Caesars

Those odds list the Nets at +250, the Knicks at +300, the Celtics at +350, the Lakers at +750, and Clippers at +1000.

May 7, 10:30 AM:

ESPN analyst Jalen Rose believes Irving's tenure in Boston is coming to an end, with the Celtics on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs.

"Now, the [Celtics] chosen to give the ball to Kyrie to take them home," Rose said on "Get Up". "He's shown that he can't be the best player on a contending team. And I agree with you, he's done in Boston. You ready for this? His teammates will help him pack. They can't wait for him to leave." 

May 1, 1:12 PM:

During an interview with the New York Times' Marc Stein, Jared Dudley was asked about the Nets' big offseason and specifically Irving. Irving could stay with the Celtics, but there's been buzz that he could bounce and team up with Kevin Durant on a team like the Knicks. 

But Dudley believes Brooklyn will also be considered, saying, "I would be shocked if the Nets don't get a sit-down."

April 12, 11:28 AM:

Celtics president Danny Ainge said nothing that has transpired this season has changed his thinking that he wants to lock Irving up to a long-term deal, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, adding he thinks the Celtics beginning their playoff run may help Irving remember how close Boston was to making the NBA Finals last season.

"I don't think free agency is wearing on him," Ainge said. "I think that not being able to live up to expectations as a team is wearing on him more than that. But I feel like he's in a good place. And ending the season and starting the playoffs I feel like his mind is in a fresher place than it was a few weeks ago, and I'm looking forward to great things with Kyrie."

Though Irving had previously walked back his preseason intentions of re-signing a long-term deal with the Celtics by saying "Ask me July 1," Irving said this week he felt a lot of the questions he dealt with throughout this season were "a lot of bulls---.

"All you guys (media), all the questions -- everything that comes with it is just so irrelevant to what I do on the court and how hard I work every single day," Irving told reporters this week.

April 8, 7:38 PM:

Irving will reportedly grant an interview with the Lakers, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, when he hits free agency. Not only would the Lakers be competing with the Knicks to land Irving, but it would give him a chance to reunite with LeBron James.

Irving demanded a trade from the Cavaliers because of James' leadership prior to the 2017-18 season, however it wasn't until this past January when, amid the Celtics' struggles, Irving called James to apologize and reconcile.

March 11, 3:06 PM:

In a wide-ranging interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Irving apologized for the way he's handled himself at times.

Irving, whose actions in the locker room and on the bench with the Celtics have led to fodder about his future, said he wants to take responsibility.

"I just want to make sure this locker room understands who I am and what I represent," Irving said, among many other things.  

March 4, 7:32 PM:

Irving has become more and more "disengaged and detached from those around the team," The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor wrote, and that feeling began last month amid the increasing rumors that Irving would leave Boston to go to the Knicks this summer.

Before a Knicks-Celtics game in February, Irving notoriously walked back his October comments, when he expressed his desire to re-sign a long-term deal with Boston, by telling reporters, "I don't owe anybody s---" and saying "Ask me July 1" about his impending free agency.

Feb. 20, 12:27 PM:

During a television interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Irving addressed what it's like to have everyone talking about him and his impending free agency, describing it as a "distraction." 

"The talks don't stop. The talks follow the great players in the league, and I'm appreciative and grateful to be one of those great players in our league now," Irving said. "I've worked my way to get here, and honestly, all that goes with the free-agent talk is really a distraction.

"A lot of people don't realize on the outside that a lot of things that are said get into locker rooms. A lot of things that are put in headlines get into locker rooms. (The) media has broken up locker rooms, it's been done before. Like where, you say something and it's misinterpreted, and instead of addressing it with the person or individual like human interaction, you read it on your phone. You read it on a text - somebody says that, 'Hey, did you see what this person said about you?' and it's your teammate. And you're like, 'Wait, I didn't hear that.' Then you hold back, don't say anything to him and throughout the season it ends up coming out again.

"That's not the way life is supposed to go. It's a unique position, but I'm appreciative that I can have this understanding now. It's fun, but at the same time, goodness, it's energy-taxing."

Feb. 14, 12:47 PM:

The Celtics believe Klutch Sports, whose staff includes Anthony Davis' agent Rich Paul, spread rumors about Irving's potential interest in the Knicks after their blockbuster Porzingis trade cleared enough cap space for New York to land two max free agents, according to the New York Post's Justin Terranova.

Although the Celtics were interested in trading for Davis, they believe Paul's camp spread rumors to convince Davis' current team, the New Orleans Pelicans, that it wouldn't receive a significant trade offer in the offseason should Davis not want to sign a long-term deal with Boston.

Feb. 8, 12:05 PM:

Although Irving walked back his intentions to re-sign with Boston by saying "Ask me July 1" last Friday, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he believes the "engagement is still on."

"The way I viewed the situation is that I think a lot of people, because of Kyrie's announcement at the beginning of the year, thought that it was a marriage," Ainge said Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub. "And I think that it's more like an engagement. And we're going to get married on July 1st. ... In my individual conversations with Kyrie, we're still engaged but we really can't make those vows, sign that contract until July 1st."

Feb. 6, 10:26 AM:

The Celtics remain "cautiously optimistic" that Irving will re-sign with them after the season, though comments Irving recently made about being undecided as well as the looming threat of the Knicks have "shaken" the Celtics, reports Zach Lowe of ESPN

Lowe notes that others around the league are far less confident about Irving remaining in Boston.

Feb. 1, 12:01 PM:

Irving walked back his comments from October about planning to stay with the Celtics, saying before a game against the Knicks that "At the end of the day, I'm going to do what's best for my career. ... I don't owe anybody s--t."

"Ask me July 1," Irving said about where he might end up when he hits free agency.

In October, Irving said he planned to re-sign a long-term deal with the Celtics, saying he wanted his No. 11 hanging in the rafters.

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Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony watches a teammate shoot free throws during the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony watches a teammate shoot free throws during the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Here's what we know about the Knicks heading into free agency: they feel like they are in on Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving. They don't plan to offer long-term contracts to anyone who is not on their top list of free agents, which includes the three players above.

If they miss out on Durant, Leonard and Irving, they'd prefer to use their cap space on players who agree to short-term deals. You can be sure that they will look to bring in some veterans to help younger players like R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier along.

With that in mind, here's a look at a few free agents this summer who New York may look at:

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Jan 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing coaches against the St. John's Red Storm during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Jan 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing coaches against the St. John's Red Storm during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Don Nelson's coaching tenure with the Knicks was short-lived, lasting not even one season when he was fired in March of 1996 despite a 34-25 record. 

The reason?

He wanted to trade Patrick Ewing. 

The former NBA head coach confirmed that this was true in an HBO Real Sports interview with Bryant Gumbel this week, explaining that he wanted to trade Ewing so the team could pursue Shaquille O'Neal. 

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Team president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry, and the rest of the Knicks' front office has been working hard to prepare for free agency that kicks off officially this Sunday at 6 p.m. It's a summer that could bring immediate change to the franchise that been stuck in the mud for more than a decade. 

And as Knicks fans are well aware of by now, two max free agent slots are in New York's possession to use if they so choose. Some of the top players -- Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving to name a few -- could fill those holes. 

But there are some lower level free agents that can still make an impact next season. According to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears, the Knicks have shown some interest in Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic, both players that have ties to Perry during his time with the Magic. DeMarcus Cousins, Markieff Morris, and Marcus Morris are on the radar as well as Julius Randle

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 (Kelley L Cox)
(Kelley L Cox)

Knicks fans will get an early look at some of the team's young talent during the Summer League schedule. Here are the latest news and notes concerning the Knicks' summer schedule ...


June 25, 12:40 PM:

The Knicks have added another defensive big man to their Summer League roster on Tuesday, with Oregon PF Kenny Wooten Jr. joining the team. He announced his decision on Twitter, simply tweeting out "New York Knicks."

Wooten may have averaged just 6.3 points last season, but that doesn't seem to be why the Knicks have some interest in him. His 2.6 blocks per game and 2.2 blocks per game in his freshman and sophomore seasons respectively showcase his knack for protecting the rim. He was named to the Pac 12 First-Team All-Defense in those seasons as well.

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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard shoots against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard shoots against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent Kawhi Leonard will meet with the Los Angeles Clippers on July 2, according to The Athletic's Frank Isola.

While the Knicks are planning an "aggressive" pursuit of Leonard, as SNY's Ian Begley has reported, the two-time NBA Finals MVP reportedly has his sights set on the Clippers, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week.

That said, Leonard is also "seriously considering" re-signing with the NBA champion Raptors, according to Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes, as Toronto is the only team that can offer him a five-year max deal.

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Dec 5, 2018; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) and Duke Blue Devils forward R.J. Barrett (5) high five during the second half against the Hartford Hawks at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports (Rob Kinnan)
Dec 5, 2018; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) and Duke Blue Devils forward R.J. Barrett (5) high five during the second half against the Hartford Hawks at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports (Rob Kinnan)

The Knicks may have lost out on the Zion Williamson sweepstakes, but the man they drafted instead believes he could one day lure him to New York. 

Knicks' first-round draft pick RJ Barrett, who was Williamson's teammate at Duke, said on The Michael Kay Show Monday that he hopes to one day play together with Williamson. 

"Hopefully, one day we'll be on the same team," Barrett said. "That's my brother, I'll try and recruit him over."

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

The longest-tenured Knick is a big fan of the newest one.

Lance Thomas watched fellow Duke player R.J. Barrett several times during the season and came away impressed.

"He's a force. He can get to that cup whenever he wants and he finishes above the rim," Thomas said at a pop-up event last Wednesday to promote his Slangmagic clothing line, named after his competitve fishing team. "He finishes with a good floater, strong kid."

Tags: Lance Thomas, Ian Begley
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Apr 18, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with guard Andre Iguodala (9) during the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers in game three of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Apr 18, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with guard Andre Iguodala (9) during the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers in game three of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

Andre Iguodala is tired of hearing about the Knicks landing top free agents this summer. 

The Knicks have been linked to several top targets on the market, including Iguodala's teammate Kevin Durant. But he can't see anyone choosing to go play for New York at all. 

"Nobody's going to the Knicks, sorry," Iguodala said on CNBC on Monday.

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Dec 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The NBA fined the Knicks organization $50,000 for violating the league's rules regarding equal access to media after it banned the New York Daily News from their post-draft press conference last Friday.

"The Knicks acknowledge that we did not comply with the NBA's media policy, and made an error in interpreting Friday's announcement as an invite only event," the Knicks said in a statement. "As we do throughout the year, we have and will continue to provide access to credentialed media as per the League's policy."

While other media orgainzations were in attendance for RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis' introductory news conference, the Daily News did not have a credential.

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Jan 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts by pounding on his chest after making a play against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Jan 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts by pounding on his chest after making a play against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

Warriors star Kevin Durant is one of the prizes of free agency, but the idea that he could join the Knicks this summer took a hit when he suffered an Achilles injury that could keep him out for the entire 2019-20 season. Here's the latest...


June 24, 2:46 PM:

The Nets are exploring the possibility of signing DeAndre Jordan with the hope that it could make Brooklyn an even more enticing landing spot for Durant, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times. Jordan is close friends with Durant, and the Knicks traded for him last season and have considered trying to re-sign him.  

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May 6, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
May 6, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

The Knicks' betting odds to sign free agent Kevin Durant have taken a dip, according to Caesars, with New York now the third-likeliest landing spot for the star. The favorite? That would be the Brooklyn Nets.

Here are the new odds that were released Monday by Caesars:

Nets: -125

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Jan 26, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) works against Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half of a 115-111 victory by Golden State at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Jan 26, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) works against Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half of a 115-111 victory by Golden State at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

As the Knicks and the rest of the NBA wait for the free agent frenzy that will begin in less than a week, a new report says two of the biggest names -- Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving -- "have met twice in recent weeks" to discuss their "desire" to join the same team this summer.

The talk of Durant and Irving possibly linking up is nothing new, but news of their two recent meetings should turn some heads.

According to Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, the first meeting took place while Durant was out during the playoffs with a strained calf, with the second meeting taking place in New York shortly after Durant had surgery on his ruptured Achilles.

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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon during the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Fiserv Forum. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon during the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Fiserv Forum. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

With free agency less than a week away from kicking off in the NBA, the Knicks have been closely related with some of the top players on the market, including Kawhi Leonard

But, according to the latest odds released by Odds Shark, New York isn't at the top of the list when it comes to who will land the dyanmic All-Star.

The Knicks' odds come in at +1400, which is fourth on the list. The Raptors remain the favorite with -225 odds. Here's how the list shakes out...

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May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) passes the ball during practice for the NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) passes the ball during practice for the NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has declined his player option to become an unrestricted free agent, according to Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes.

The Knicks, who have enough salary cap space to sign two free agents to max deals, are planning an "aggressive" pursuit of Leonard, according to SNY's Ian Begley, however Leonard, according to Haynes, is "seriously considering" re-signing with the NBA champion Raptors.

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Mar 21, 2019; Des Moines, IA, United States; Michigan Wolverines forward Ignas Brazdeikis (13) celebrates with guard Zavier Simpson (3) and forward Isaiah Livers (4) during the second half against the Montana Grizzlies in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports (Jeffrey Becker)
Mar 21, 2019; Des Moines, IA, United States; Michigan Wolverines forward Ignas Brazdeikis (13) celebrates with guard Zavier Simpson (3) and forward Isaiah Livers (4) during the second half against the Montana Grizzlies in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports (Jeffrey Becker)

In case you missed it on at the NBA Draft on Thursday, the New York Knicks made a splash. They drafted a Canadian sharpshooter with no shortage of confidence and expectations to make an immediate impact to the organization.

Oh, and they drafted RJ Barrett, too.

The Knicks' second-round pick, Ignas "Iggy" Brazdeikis, may not have received all the attention that his countryman Barrett has garnered, but that doesn't mean Knicks fans shouldn't know his name. In fact, his coaches say it won't be long before everyone in New York knows exactly who Brazdeikis is.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Las Vegas Summer League is just two weeks away, and with it comes a chance for Knicks fans to take in their newly-upgraded young core for the first time.

At Thursday's NBA Draft, New York selected R.J. Barrett with the third overall pick, then Ignas Brazdeikis in the second round. These two rookies will be making their debut in the blue-and-orange, and we'll see some returning faces there to show off their offseason improvements. As always, the team will bring in some undrafted rookies and vagabond free agents to seek out a diamond in the rough.

Here is how the Knicks' Summer League roster appears to be shaping up in what will surely be a fun overlap with free agency come July.

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Ignas Brazdeikis was asked on Friday to describe his game. His answer is probably something that will endear him to the Knick fan base. 

"I'm a relentless player. I don't fear anyone or anything. I don't back down from anyone either," Brazdeikis, the Knicks' second-round pick, said. "I'm very confident in my abilities as well. I go as hard as I can every single game to help the team win. I'm aggressive. I feel like I l know who I am as a basketball player."

The Knicks traded up in the second round to select Brazdeikis, a 20-year-old freshman forward from Michigan. They sent cash and the 55th pick to Sacramento in exchange for the 47th pick. 

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Get to know RJ Barrett 00:01:31
The Knicks' third overall draft pick RJ Barrett talks about his personalities on and off the court with SNY's NBA Insider Ian Begley.

RJ Barrett was officially introduced as a Knick on Friday.

Speaking with SNY Insider Ian Begley, Barrett talked about what life's been like since finding out he'd be going to New York as the third-overall pick, his on-the-court mentality, and more.

"It's been a lot to take in," said Barrett. "A lot of excitement, a lot of celebration, so it's been fun."

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Knicks president Steve Mills didn't want to talk about free agency during the introductory press conference for Knicks rookies RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis.

"Today is not the day to talk about free agency," Mills said. "We're here to celebrate and enjoy having these guys join our team."

But when he was asked what the Knicks' message to their fans is at the moment, Mills preached patience.

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Barrett, Brazdeikis introduced 00:02:11
RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis met with the NY media. Hear what RJ responded when asked if he was ready to 'carry the Knicks'

Thursday night's Knicks draft picks RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis were introduced to the New York media on Friday, while Steve Mills, Scott Perry, and David Fizdale also fielded questions. Here are the key quotes...


Is Barrett ready to "carry" the franchise?

"Carry? I wouldn't say carry -- I'd say it's gonna be a great group of guys that are gonna be together. We're all excited to play for coach Fizdale, this is the biggest stage. So yeah, I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to play. But I haven't even played a game yet, so how are you gonna ask me a question like that?" It should be noted that Barrett laughed when delivering the final line...

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Louisville Cardinals forward VJ King shoots the ball past Florida State Seminoles guard Braian Angola during the second half of the game at Donald L. Tucker Center. (Melina Vastola/USA TODAY Sports)
Louisville Cardinals forward VJ King shoots the ball past Florida State Seminoles guard Braian Angola during the second half of the game at Donald L. Tucker Center. (Melina Vastola/USA TODAY Sports)

After drafting Duke's RJ Barrett third overall and Michigan's Ignas Brazdeikis 47th overall in Thursday's NBA draft, the Knicks continued to make moves by signing several undrafted free agents.

New York signed UCLA forward Kris Wilkes to a two-way deal and also agreed to terms with Louisville forward V.J. King and Shaw University guard Amir Hinton, SNY's Ian Begley confirmed.

King, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound junior, averaged 3.9 points and 3.0 rebounds in 32 games for the Cardinals, while Hinton, a 6-foot-5 guard, led all of Division II in scoring, averaging 29.4 points per game as a junior.

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RJ Barrett drafted by Knicks 00:01:01
RJ Barrett's personality was on display as he spoke to the media after being drafted third overall by the Knicks. He's ready to play at MSG.

About an hour after the Knicks took him with the third pick of the NBA Draft on Thursday night, RJ Barrett delivered a straightforward message to the city. 

"New Yorkers, I'm here. I love you. Let's try to get back to that championship way," Barrett said late Thursday. 

After all of the last-minute workouts with other players, New York made the expected move in taking Barrett with the third overall pick. 

 

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Knicks GM welcomes RJ Barrett 00:01:46
New York Knicks GM Scott Perry explains why the team was happy to hold onto their 3rd pick in the NBA Draft so they could select RJ Barrett.

The Knicks stayed at No. 3 and selected RJ Barrett out of Duke -- a move many saw the team doing. 

Of course, GM Scott Perry and team president Steve Mills kept their phone lines open to see if there was a good trade package to potentially move down in the Draft. But during a conference call with New York media after the pick, Perry said they knew the talent level was different at the top of the prospect list. 

Barrett was ranked very highly by the Knicks, and staying at No. 3 was the best move in their eyes for the team. 

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Feb 13, 2019; Berkeley, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Kris Wilkes (13) takes a three-point shot as California Golden Bears guard Matt Bradley (20) defends in the second half at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Feb 13, 2019; Berkeley, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Kris Wilkes (13) takes a three-point shot as California Golden Bears guard Matt Bradley (20) defends in the second half at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

The Knicks were not done making moves once the NBA Draft was over. 

The franchise also signed UCLA F Kris Wilkes to a two-way contract, first reported by Tim Bontemps of ESPN and confirmed by SNY's Ian Begley. 

Wilkes is a lanky 6-foot-8 wing who has a mix of athleticism and jump-shooting ability. 

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The Knicks traded up from the 55th to 47th pick to select Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis.

Sources confirmed to SNY Insider Ian Begley that the Knicks sent the 55th overall pick and cash considerations to the Kings in order to move up. The Kings selected Brazdeikis with the 47th pick since the trade had not yet been finalized, but the deal was made official later in the night.

Listed at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, Brazdeikis played one season at Michigan. With the Wolverines, Brazdeikis averaged 14.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game.

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Begley reacts to Knicks draft 00:01:19
SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley breaks down the big night for RJ Barrett and also answers the question of what's next for the Knicks.

With the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Knicks selected Duke G RJ Barrett in a move everyone was expecting. 

The Draft went according to plan, with the Pelicans taking Barrett's Blue Devils teammate Zion Williamson and the Grizzlies nabbing Ja Morant at No. 2. That saw Barrett fall into the Knicks' laps, and they jumped on the opportunity to add the dynamic guard to their roster. 

Barrett has expressed his desire to play for New York next season. The Knicks were the only team that he worked out for, and that was done by design.

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Knicks fans react to RJ Barrett 00:00:59
Knicks fans were super excited to hear that RJ Barrett is headed to the Garden. They definitely feel like the Knicks won the trade.

The Knicks selected RJ Barrett with the No. 3 overall pick, and he was immediately showered with cheers in Barclays Center as he made his way to the stage. 

Knicks fans are ecstatic that Barrett will don the blue and orange next season, and they let us know exactly how they felt after the pick was made...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The first three picks fell into place the way most people thought they would, and the Knicks selected RJ Barrett, the player they had seemingly targeted throughout the draft process, with the third-overall pick.

Players and fans alike seemed to all be in agreement with the selection. Here's a look at some of the reaction to Barrett becoming the newest member of the Knicks ...

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RJ Barrett is going to be a Knick. 

SNY's Ian Begley is hearing from a source that the Knicks don't expect any surprises, and they will remain at No. 3 to select Barrett. The Athletic's Shams Charania also reported that the first three picks of the Draft are set with Zion Williamson going to the Pelicans first overall, and Ja Morant to the Grizzlies at No. 2.

Begley has been reporting all week that Barrett is the Knicks' man if they didn't get rid of the No. 3 pick in a potential trade-down scenario. The only workout he had with any team this offseason was with the Knicks, as he has aspirations to begin his career in New York. 

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Jun 13, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates with the Larry O'Brien Trophy after the Golden State Warriors in game six of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
Jun 13, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates with the Larry O'Brien Trophy after the Golden State Warriors in game six of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

After the Knicks get through the draft on Thursday night, their attention will turn fully to free agency.

We know that the Knicks will still have interest in Kevin Durant, who is expected to miss next season as he rehabs from an Achilles injury.

They are also going to be aggressive in their pursuit of NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

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Top 5: Knicks Best Draft Steals 00:01:19
As the New York Knicks get ready for Thursday's NBA Draft, SNY looks at the biggest steals for the Knicks in their draft history.

As the Knicks prepare to use their two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft tonight at Barclays Center, here's a look back at their Top 5 Draft steals in franchise history...

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Feb 26, 2019; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Marques Bolden (20) looks to pass while being defended by Virginia Tech Hokies forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. (24) in the first half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports (Michael Thomas Shroyer)
Feb 26, 2019; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Marques Bolden (20) looks to pass while being defended by Virginia Tech Hokies forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. (24) in the first half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports (Michael Thomas Shroyer)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

We know that the Knicks are settled on taking RJ Barrett at the No. 3 pick if he's available, but what will they do with their second round pick?

New York owns the No. 55 pick in the second round, and has worked out several prospects who would fall in that range. Below are a look at a few prospects who the Knicks may look at with their late second-round selection:

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North Carolina Tar Heels guard Coby White dribbles the ball against the Auburn Tigers in the semifinals of the midwest regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)
North Carolina Tar Heels guard Coby White dribbles the ball against the Auburn Tigers in the semifinals of the midwest regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks held a private workout with UNC guard Coby White on Thursday, hours before the NBA draft, SNY's Ian Begley confirmed.

While the Knicks are "locked in" on selecting Duke's RJ Barrett with the third pick, according to Begley, they have held pre-draft workouts with White and Vanderbilt's Darius Garland in the days leading up to the draft.

White, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound point guard, averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 35 games for the Tar Heels as a freshman last season.

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Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) races after a basket during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports (Amber Searls)
Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) races after a basket during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports (Amber Searls)

Something worth noting for the Knicks as Thursday's NBA Draft approaches: teams in touch with the Memphis Grizzlies recently are under the impression that they would need to be presented with an incredibly strong offer to trade the No. 2 pick, per SNY sources.

Those teams believe the Grizzlies are happy with their draft position and the opportunity to select Murray State's Ja Morant, sources say. That scenario became all the more likely on Wednesday when Memphis agreed to trade Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz.

This is all relevant to the Knicks, of course, because they have the No. 3 pick, right after the Grizzlies. And teams have reportedly been calling Memphis about trades for the No. 2 pick.

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RJ Barrett ready for New York 00:01:47
RJ Barrett talked to the media ahead of the NBA draft. He's ready to join the Knicks, with or without Kevin Durant.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

If the Knicks draft him, RJ Barrett knows he'd be responsible for helping turn around a franchise that has won just one playoff series in the last 19 years. And he's OK with that.

"I feel like that would be a challenge that I'm willing to accept," Barrett said on Wednesday at the NBA's media availability for projected lottery picks.

The Knicks have met with Ja Morant and Cam Reddish, and worked out Darius Garland and Jarrett Culver. But the consensus among opposing execs is that they will take Barrett at No. 3 if they hold on to the pick. It's hard to say how likely a trade down is, but it would make sense for the Knicks to listen to offers until they are ready to make a pick.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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A crucial crossroads for Knicks 00:02:04
With a high draft pick and cap space, SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley asks if the Knicks are finally ready to take steps towards success.

The Knicks have the tools to reshape their roster and build a contender.

But will they be able to make it happen?

SNY Insider Ian Begley details what the Knicks can look to do this summer, starting with the NBA Draft and moving into free agency.

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 (Richard Mackson)
(Richard Mackson)

Vanderbilt's Darius Garland said his solo workout with the Knicks on Wednesday went well and he got no indication that the club wouldn't consider taking him with the No. 3 pick.

"If they called me in for a workout I believe so," Garland said Wednesday when asked if he thought the Knicks may take him at three.

Obviously, the Knicks would have no reason to tip their hand a little more than 24 hours before Thursday's NBA Draft.

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Top 5: Worst Duke NBA Players 00:01:16
The New York Knicks could take Duke's RJ Barrett with the 3rd pick in the NBA Draft. Hopefully he pans out unlike these former Duke stars.

With the Knicks projected to take Duke's R.J. Barrett with the third-overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, here's a look at some of the most notable names to come out of Duke who never panned out in the NBA.

Knicks fans are hoping that Barrett won't end up with the other players on this list.

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May 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) warms up before playing against the Golden State Warriors before game six of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
May 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) warms up before playing against the Golden State Warriors before game six of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

With the rumors swirling around Chris Paul leaving the Rockets, teams that could absorb his contract like the Knicks were immediately brought up. 

However, it doesn't look like New York will be Paul's new home. 

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor has heard from sources that the Rockets have actually reached out to the Knicks about Paul. But the Knicks "refused" to delve into a potential trade. 

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May 16, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Ja Morant after speaking to the media during day one of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest Multisport Complex. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports (David Banks)
May 16, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Ja Morant after speaking to the media during day one of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest Multisport Complex. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports (David Banks)

NBA Draft season is upon us, and the Knicks were awarded the No. 3 overall pick following the NBA Draft Lottery. As June 20 approaches to them being on the clock, here is the latest about the top prospects in this year's Draft class as it pertains to the Knicks...


June 19, 11:52 AM:

Ja Morant is basically a lock at the No. 2 pick, as the Grizzlies have traded their veteran point guard Mike Conley to the Jazz, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. In turn, it looks as if RJ Barrett could also be a lock for the Knicks at No. 3. 

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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

It's logical to think that there are no players on the Knicks roster who are off limits when it comes to potential trades, but 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina is one player who members of the organization are open to listening to offers on, sources confirm.

Ntilikina has been a part of trade rumors for several months. It is unclear what the Knicks would be looking for in return for a Ntilikina deal, but the New York Post, which first reported the Knicks' willingness to move Ntilikina, says the club is looking for a late first or second-round pick. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Top 5: Best Duke NBA Players 00:01:09
The New York Knicks are projected to take Duke's RJ Barrett with the 3rd overall pick in the NBA Draft. Whose footsteps could he follow in?

With the Knicks projected to take Duke's R.J. Barrett with the third-overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, now's the perfect time to look at the best Duke players in NBA history.

Could Barrett be the next great Duke player at the NBA level?

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May 6, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) reacts after scoring during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
May 6, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) reacts after scoring during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

If Al Horford is on his way out of Boston, could Clint Capela be on his way in?

Multiple outlets reported on Tuesday that contract talks have broken up between the Celtics and the five-time All Star Horford, meaning Boston could now be in the market for a big man, much the same as the Knicks after both teams missed out on Anthony Davis.

The Celtics may have found their answer.

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Reddish talks NBA Draft 00:01:04
Former Duke star Cam Reddish talks with SNY's Ian Begley about this week's NBA Draft and possibility of playing for the Knicks

Former Duke star Cam Reddish caught up with SNY's Ian Begley this week in New York City ahead of the NBA Draft to talk about his meeting with the Knicks and what it would be like for him if he were to end up in New York.  

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May 8, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) during game five of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
May 8, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) during game five of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Al Horford is reportedly set to hit the free agent market.

The five-time All-Star will decline his $30 million option with the Celtics, and though there had previously been a thought that Horford would return to the Celtics on a more team-friendly deal, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald is now reporting that Horford will look elsewhere, likely for a four-year contract.

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Duke Blue Devils forward R.J. Barrett plays defense as Georgia Tech Yellowjackets guard Michael Devoe dribbles up court during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)
Duke Blue Devils forward R.J. Barrett plays defense as Georgia Tech Yellowjackets guard Michael Devoe dribbles up court during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks are currently poised to take RJ Barrett with the third overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, and many seem to think he's the perfect fit for New York. 

Add Mike Krzyzewski to that list. 

The Duke star's college coach was in New York to host his pre-draft SiriusXM show and explained why he believes Barrett will have success with the Knicks. 

 

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Apr 24, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) against the Utah Jazz in game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)
Apr 24, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) against the Utah Jazz in game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)

There is turmoil in Houston between the Rockets two superstars in SG James Harden and PG Chris Paul, so much so that the latter has demanded a trade, per Yahoo! Sports Vincent Goodwill.

Goodwill says Harden and Paul's relationship has been termed "unsalvageable," and after the Rockets fell to the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs, Harden had a "him or me" talk with ownership. 

"There's no respect at all, on either side," a source told Goodwill. "They need to get away from one another. Chris doesn't respect James' standing in the league, and James doesn't respect the work Chris has put in to this point."

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New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, left, and general manager Steve Mills answer questions during a news conference at the team's training facility, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Greenburgh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, left, and general manager Steve Mills answer questions during a news conference at the team's training facility, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Greenburgh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)

The Knicks have a workout scheduled with Vanderbilt's Darius Garland on Wednesday, the day before the NBA Draft, league sources confirm to SNY.

Garland is one of the top point guards in the draft but is projected outside of the top three picks. ESPN, which first reported Garland's workout, says that he is in serious consideration for New York with the third pick.

It's worth noting, though, that the Knicks have worked out other prospects who will likely fall outside of the top three, including Duke's Cam Reddish and Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver. They have also met with the projected No. 2 pick Ja Morant.

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 (Richard Mackson)
(Richard Mackson)

With just two days until the Knicks are on the clock at No. 3 overall, one would think New York is set with their plan come Thursday night. 

That is until a "last-minute workout" was scheduled for Wednesday with Vanderbilt PG Darius Garland, per ESPN's Jonathan Givony

Garland is a top-10 prospect that some can see going in the top five. Givony adds that the Knicks are in "serious consideration" of picking Garland at No. 3...

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