Knicks fans will be praying for Kyrie Irving to come to New York for the upcoming season. With the team being named as one of four possible destinations for the wantaway Cleveland star, there are ways to make the move happen.
Obviously, there are some difficulties with Irving's potential switch to the Big Apple. Firstly, although Irving has two years remaining on his contract, the Cavs will be wanting somebody big time in return. Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis come to mind here, but that simply won’t happen.
It’s rumored that Carmelo will only waive his no-trade clause to play with James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston whilst also having a mutual interest with the Oklahoma City Thunder. So, how can the Knicks bring Irving in without trading the unicorn, whilst giving Melo what he wants?
Cleveland gets: Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Knicks first round picks 2018 & 2020
New York gets: Kyrie Irving
Houston gets: Carmelo Anthony, Channing Frye, Deron Williams
This trade works on multiple levels for all three teams. The Cavs get another stretch 4 in Ryan Anderson, who can spread the floor and provides another threat from deep. Additionally, getting last season's 6th man of the year, Eric Gordon, gives Cleveland another strong shooter.
Anderson averaged 13.6 points per game while shooting 41.8% from the field and was dominate from deep shooting at 40.3%. Gordon was more influential in the box score, averaging 16.2 points per game, the most he has averaged since the 2012/13 NBA season. The two future first rounders will also help the Cavs build for the long term.
The Knicks win, too. Kyrie heads to New York and Porzingis stays. Although they don’t get any additional pieces, the Knicks get arguably one of the top 5 scoring point guards in the league, one who can effectively link up with Porzingis and get Madison Square Garden rocking again.
Anthony, meanwhile, gets his wish and goes to Houston whilst the Rockets add some depth in the process with Channing Frye and Deron Williams. Frye plays a reliable stretch 4 and would be a straight swap with Anderson, whilst Williams would be an excellent back-up to Chris Paul. Both players are nearing the end of their careers, but Houston would help rejuvenate them.
Cleveland gets: Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler & Knicks picks 2018-2020
New York gets: Kyrie Irving & Doug McDermott
Oklahoma City gets: Carmelo Anthony & Kyle O’Quinn
The Cavs will get a backup center who can get buckets, but the lingering question would be if Enes Kanter would be viable to play alongside Kevin Love. Kanter averaged 14.3 points off the bench while shooting a strong 54.5% from the field last season, while his rebounding numbers are passable at 6.7 per game. But to be a big time threat, he needs to boost those numbers. The picks are majorly important in this deal to help set up the future in Cleveland
The Knicks and Kyrie get what they want whilst adding a streaky three-point shooter in Doug McDermott. It has been a struggle for McDermott since coming out of college, where he peaked midway through last season with 10.2 points per game on 37.3% shooting. McDermott was packaged to Oklahoma City and a minute decrease brought down his production, so a move to New York could help rejuvenate his career.
The Thunder win through this deal, as another scoring threat in Carmelo Anthony teams up with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. With such a lineup, you would feel that even the Golden State Warriors would be worried out in the West. OKC also add Kyle O’Quinn, who is a decent defender and solid rim protector, albeit an inconsistent performer. With Taj Gibson moving to Minnesota, O’Quinn would add much-needed toughness on the defensive end.
Cleveland gets: Carmelo Anthony, Eric Bledsoe, Knicks First round picks 2018-2020 & Suns protected 1st round pick
New York gets: Kyrie Irving & Channing Frye
Phoenix gets: Frank Ntilinka & Iman Shumpert
The last trade showcases the possibility of Anthony agreeing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Cavs and team up with LeBron. Now this is the same trade that The Ringer’s Bill Simmons has come up with and there is actually a lot of sense to make this trade happen. The Cavs get another excellent scorer in Anthony, who could play at the 4 where you would have Kevin Love playing the 5. They replace Irving with Bledsoe, who is a much better defender than Kyrie plus and is entering the prime of his career. Although the Cavs have just signed Derrick Rose to a one-year deal, Bledsoe would be their long-term future.
Adding Channing Frye to the mix would be good for the culture of the Knicks, who don’t have much in the way of veteran leadership. Frye can be a good influence on Porzingis and can help change the attitude of the franchise in the wake of the Phil Jackson era. Irving will be able to elevate his game to another level as he and Porzingis would be the main guys in New York.
The Suns have plenty of assets and adding the number eight pick in Frank Ntilikina as well as the experienced Iman Shumpert would be good for a relatively young Phoenix side. It would be a good situation for Ntilikina as there would be no pressure to be good early on as Phoenix are very much on the rebuilding path. Meanwhile, Shumpert provides good energy and can be a sound option to start alongside Devon Booker, or as an effective bench player.
Do you think the Knicks should trade for Irving? Let us know in the comments section below.