There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving as he gets set to hit free agency. One of the teams that could target him this offseason will be the New York Knicks. The Knicks are hoping to revitalize their franchise by making a super team, and they are exploring all avenues to achieve that goal.
According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, the Knicks are considering trading back in the lottery despite the fact that many view this as a three-player draft. The reason they would do this is to target a couple of big-name free agents.
New York has explored the possibility of trading back in the lottery, sources told ESPN, perhaps to acquire pieces that better complement potential high-volume All-Star free agents (such as Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving).
Durant and Irving have been tied to New York for much of the past year, as both will likely opt out of their contracts and sign new ones in free agency. If the two want to team up, doing so with the Knicks is one of their potential options.
By moving down, the Knicks could potentially target one or two players that they feel could better complement guys like Irving and Durant. Additionally, they could save money, as the rookie contracts decrease in value the lower a player is picked, and if they add two, young, high-upside pieces on cost-controlled contracts, that would give them a better chance of building out a roster that can grow with along with their stars.
It also remains possible that the Knicks could dangle the No. 3 pick in potential trade packages for Anthony Davis, as that would be a sure-fire way to improve their chances of landing Kyrie and KD. That said, there would certainly be risk in shipping out that pick for Davis with no guarantee they would land either free agent or that Davis would stay beyond the 2019-20 NBA season. Plus, they may not have the assets needed to compete with other offers the Pelicans may get for Davis.
No matter what, it seems that the Knicks are going to target Irving in free agency. The Celtics will have to keep a close eye on their moves as they likely want to be in the mix for the same players the Knicks have interest in.
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