Tag: Jimmy Butler

Knicks Fans Can Cross Kyrie Irving Off Their Wish List

The Knicks have made it known that they want to make a big splash in 2019 free agency as the team is expected to have plenty of cap room. There are several high profile stars who they planned on pursuing, a list that had Kyrie Irving at the top.

This dream appears to be dead as Irving has announced his intention to re-sign with the Boston Celtics this offseason.

Irving is a member of one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, and bringing a championship to Boston would solidify his elite status. Former Celtics standout Paul Pierce agrees with this assertion, saying, “I think that’s a legacy decision and for him to see the potential of that team moving forward in Boston,” Pierce said. “Winning a championship in Boston is different than winning one in Cleveland. He will be immortalized if he wins in Boston.”

Kyrie is a 5-time All-Star and a former All-NBA selection and would have undoubtedly helped the Knicks make another trip to the playoffs. However, this clearly is out of the question after declaring his allegiance to the C’s.

So what’s next for the Knicks?

With Kyrie out of the picture, the Knicks will have all hands on deck to go after Kevin Durant and Jimmy Butler. Although several skeptics around the NBA believe this is only a pipedream, the fact of the matter is that New York has a legitimate shot at both of these premier players.

Durant has already won two championships with Golden State and may decide to leave the team to improve his image. The Knicks are a possible destination simply because of the allure the franchise offers. Madison Square Garden is one of the most electrifying arenas in the league and is in the center of the greatest city in the world. This is the same reason that LeBron went to the Lakers. Playing in a big-time city where basketball is at the heart of the city’s culture is a great experience, to say the least. Also, KD’s longtime business partner/agent Rich Kleiman is based on New York and is big Knicks fan, along with Durant’s father.

As for Jimmy Butler, he has expressed a degree of interest in coming to New York. A few weeks ago, Butler formally requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves and gave the organization a list of his three preferred destinations, one being the Knicks. He would add the defensive pedigree that the team has been lacking for several years and would fit in nicely with Fizdale’s offensive system.

Although losing out on Kyrie is a big blow, there are plenty of other viable options to revitalize the Mecca of basketball.

Could Joakim Noah be Headed to the Timberwolves?

Tom Thibodeau, the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, has displayed his affinity for the players on his old Chicago team. In addition to having Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson on his roster, the Timberwolves also recently signed former Bull Luol Deng. Accordingly, people around the league are calling them the TimberBulls. The only piece left of the puzzle is Joakim Noah, and the Wolves reportedly have some interest in acquiring him as well.

The Timberwolves are full of young talent that is in need of some direction by seasoned veterans, and Joakim Noah fits that bill. The two-time All-Star has a high basketball IQ and could undoubtedly impart some wisdom onto players like Karl Anthony Towns. Noah is also a former Defensive Player of the Year, and anyone who knows anything about basketball knows that being a good defensive player is more mental toughness than physical. It’s about being in the right spots, knowing when to go over and under screens, when to switch, and always communicating with your teammates. The Wolves have struggled to play good defense in the past and adding Noah could help them improve in that department even if it isn’t through Noah’s contributions on the floor.

The Knicks are ready to move on from Joakim after their fallout last year, and it seems that the T-Wolves are the only team that have interest in the center who is clearly past his prime. If he does wind up in Minnesota, the TimberBulls roster will be complete.


Featured Image via Flickr/Jeff Villanueva

Could Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler Team Up in New York Next Summer?

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.


Featured Image Via Google Images/Wikimedia Commons