Knicks rumors: Kyrie Irving is New York's top target in 2019
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Kyrie Irving is New York’s top target in 2019

Kyrie Irving, Knicks

The New York Knicks are reportedly making Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving their top free agent target in 2019. Irving’s late-season knee surgery caused his first year with the Celtics to end early. His contract has an opt-out option after the upcoming season.

While he is eligible to sign a four-year $107 million deal with the Celtics, he could command much more if he hits the free agency market the following summer.

Irving didn’t really get to see the full potential of his team in Boston last season. They lost Gordon Hayward to a gruesome leg injury in the season opener, and Irving himself was out of commission during the home stretch. In their absence, budding stars like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier got to shine. Uncle Drew will want to see how all the pieces work together before he commits long-term.

From NBA insider Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Chicago:

“I’ve spoken with people within (the Knicks) 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 (next) summer, Kyrie would be their first, second, third, and fourth choice.”

The Knicks have an All-Star in Kristaps Porzingis and could entice stars more with the performance of 2018 first-rounder Kevin Knox this year. Big-time names like Kevin Durant and Jimmy Butler may be available alongside Irving next offseason.

The Knicks want to make sure they give themselves a good shot at signing at least one of these talents. Irving grew up right outside of New York in West Orange, New Jersey. Maybe his recent enrollment in Harvard’s business school will help him make the best decision for him in 2019.