But they’ll face competition.
I can tell you right now, the New York Knicks, he is their No. 1 target. I’ve spoken with people within that organization. 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 this summer, Kyrie would be their first, second, third and fourth choice.
This is the effect of Irving’s vague statements on his future with Boston. Other teams see him as attainable.
Irving won’t be next summer’s best free agent. That’ll be Kevin Durant or, if healthy, Kawhi Leonard. But Leonard has telegraphed an interest in Los Angeles, and Durant… well maybe the Knicks could pursue him.
Irving looks the most realistic, though. The Knicks could sell Irving, who grew up in New Jersey, on a homecoming – but so can the Nets, who are also reportedly interested.
They look like a team trying to avoid directly tampering while still broadcasting its enthusiasm for Irving in the hopes it impresses him. Will it work?
It’ll be a long season of Irving rumors until we find out.