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Kyrie Irving Is A No Brainer For The Knicks

On July 13th, The New York Knicks named Scott Perry their general manager. It only took just over a week, but he is now primed to make one of the biggest moves in the franchise’s history.

The Knicks are moving on from the Carmelo Anthony era whether it be now, in three months, or six months from now. The franchise will be built around Kristaps Porzingis, who has the tool set that any player would want to play with, especially a point guard.

What better available point guard to pair him with than Kyrie Irving? Kyrie has requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, citing that he no longer wants to play with LeBron James. Kyrie wants his own team and wants to prove to the world that he can lead a franchise to playoff glory.

What better team to prove that than the New York Knicks?

New York Knicks Kyrie Irving

Let’s quickly name the top players in the league. Let’s not get tacky with the order:

LeBron James

Kevin Durant

Russell Westbrook

James Harden

Kawhi Leonard

Steph Curry

Anthony Davis

I think those are the top tier of superstars in the league. There then is a tier just below them – who are still franchise players – and that is where Kyrie falls. Again, order isn’t a priority here:

Karl Anthony-Towns

DeMarcus Cousins

Kyrie Irving

Giannis Antetokounmpo

John Wall

Chris Paul

Paul George

Jimmy Butler

Damian Lillard

Blake Griffin

Carmelo Anthony is no longer on that list. The Knicks haven’t accomplished anything with him and the writing is on the wall that the two are headed for a divorce.

This is a perfect storm for the Knicks. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are close friends and even though it is pretty clear the actually playing with Carmelo hasn’t been a top priority for LeBron, he is out of options. With Kyrie having one foot out the window, he needs someone to play with if he wants any chance of winning.

For the Knicks, it’s a no brainer. They would be acquiring a top 10-15 player in the league, a top 5 point guard, a NBA champion, and a superstar in his prime  who has willingly said he wants to play with the Knicks, solely because he wants to prove he can win on his own.

What would the price be? That is the $20 million dollar question.

The trade would be centered around Carmelo going to the Cavaliers and Kyrie going to the Knicks. But it won’t be that simple.

The Knicks would maybe have to throw in their 2018 unprotected first round pick and/or 2017 first round pick Frank Ntilikina. I think mostly every Knicks fan would do that in a heartbeat. But would the Cavs accept that?

Kyrie does not have a no-trade clause and is under contract for two more seasons as well as a player option in the third. So he’s not a rental, and at 25, is entering the peak of his prime.

Kyrie Irving LeBron James

Since he does not have a no-trade clause, the Cavaliers can ask all 29 teams for their best offer without Kyrie having any input. It has been reported that Kyrie wishes to be traded to the Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, or the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The major takeaway I had from Kyrie requesting this trade is that he doesn’t want to play with LeBron anymore. Is it because when they win, he gets all the glory, but when they lose, it’s because Kyrie and everyone else didn’t carry their weight. Is it because he hit one of the most clutch shots in NBA history and it was still all about LeBron? Is he getting tired of LeBron’s sometimes snobby and conceited attitude?

Regardless, if Scott Perry gets this done, he will be an instant hero in New York City. It’s pretty amazing how a month ago the Knicks were drafting players to fit an outdated triangle offense and now they seem to be on the cusp of trading for Kyrie Irving.

What a time.

About Phil DeMeo

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