Rumors have been circulating around the league that NBA All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler could join forces in 2019 free agency in an attempt to take over the Eastern Conference. The only question is: What team will land the outspoken superstars?
According to Business Insider, the New York Knicks are very much in the loop:
Two league sources told Business Insider that there is a growing buzz about Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler teaming up next year in free agency. Both sources said the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could be well-positioned to land the two stars. Both teams are expected to have cap space and be free agency players in 2019. Other reports have also linked Irving and Butler as the NBA’s next potential super-team.
It was also noted that the speculation surrounding Kyrie and Jimmy Butler coming to the Knicks are “substantial” and “credible.”
ESPN analysts agree with this assertion. In a recent poll regarding the most likely landing spots for the two superstars, the Knicks ranked at the top of each list, in addition to being second as a possible destination for last year’s NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, Kevin Durant.
The Knicks organization has made it clear to their fanbase that they intend to spend whatever it takes to bring an All-Star caliber talent to Madison Square Garden. They were conservative in free agency this year, saving up to be big spenders in 2019. The Knicks should have the cap space available for a max contract next summer, but making room for another would require a degree of creativity on the front office’s part.
It was recently announced that New York does not plan on keeping exiled big-man Joakim Noah on the roster when the season begins, planning to waive the former Defensive Player of the Year and using the stretch provision to recoup some of the money from his monster contract to use on big names next July.
The Knicks have built themselves a solid core of young talent that is bound to take over this league fairly soon. In addition to NBA All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, New York recently selected forward Kevin Knox from the University of Kentucky who was one of the best young players in this year’s Summer League. They also have Frank Ntilikina, who was their selection from the year prior, who arguably has the best defensive potential of any guard in the NBA.
Adding either Irving or Butler would undoubtedly make them a top contender in the Eastern Conference, but landing both would most likely make them a favorite to advance all the way to the Finals.
While their success would depend heavily on team chemistry and how the team gels together on the floor to produce a successful outcome, the talent is there to do so.
If these two stars do decide to relocate to the Big Apple, The New York Knicks could finally work their way back into contention in the East for the first time in recent memory.
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