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New York to free cap space for 2019, possibly to attract Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving, Knicks

The New York Knicks could be in the running for one of the NBA’s biggest superstars, but it isn’t free agency darling LeBron James, but rather his former teammate Kyrie Irving.

The Boston Celtics point guard revealed a conversation with Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis from last season, unsolicited: “I told (Porzingis), I would love to play with a big like you, man.”

According to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, the Knicks could target Irving as a free agent, but that will need to be the team’s biggest secret until he is within grasp.

“If Irving is available in a trade this summer, the Knicks should absolutely engage the Celtics — albeit warily because GM Danny Ainge has been known to prevail in negotiations. But if this is something that can’t materialize until Irving is a free agent in 2019, here’s the smart move: keep the idea of Irving tucked away, out of sight, until it’s a reality.”

Kyrie Irving, like many other stars, relishes the bright lights that Madison Square Garden can bring to his career, as the mecca of basketball — but the Knicks’ best chances are to avoid negotiations with Ainge and choose the straight path, making Irving a substantial offer he can’t refuse.

Pairing Irving with Porzingis could very well be the start of a new era in The Big Apple, but the volatility factor of free agency is often understated, as there are too many moving pieces that can all fall out of place by the time the Knicks try to hammer out a deal.