The worst kept secret in the NBA is that the New York Knicks have had their eye on Boston’s Kyrie Irving for more than just this season. The ultimate goal is to pair him with Kevin Durant (actually, KD to the Knicks may be the worst kept secret, pushing Irving back to second).
Irving is not the only guy the Knicks have been eyeing, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
Multiple league sources tell NBC Sports Boston that the Knicks, a team with plenty of roster holes to fill this offseason, have interest in at least two other Celtics players besides Irving — Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier — who like Irving, will be free agents this summer.
New York’s interest in Rozier has been steady, only to have picked up during Rozier’s strong showing in the playoffs last year and continued through the February trade deadline, which is when Boston made the decision to keep Rozier and the rest of the team intact.
Rozier — who said he isn’t sure he’ll be back in Boston and has made it clear what he wants is to be a starter, wherever he ends up — would only be a target for New York if Irving didn’t come for whatever reason (Irving decides to stay in Boston, or the Knicks trade for Anthony Davis and don’t have room, etc.)
Morris, who had a strong playoffs averaging 13.7 points per game and shooting 45 percent from three, would bring a physicality, a veteran presence, and could plug right into the Knicks rotation, whatever it looks like.
The Knicks are not the only teams eying these guys, a lot of teams in need of a point guard have their eye on Rozier.
What will be wild come July is that after the big dominos fall — Durant, Irving, Kawhi Leonard — there are a lot of interesting second, third, and fourth tier free agents out there that can help teams. As much as 40 percent of the league will be free agents and there will be real value in that mix for smart GMs who know what kind of players they need and who can fill those roles.