Knicks Rumors: Kyrie Irving Expected to Consider NY in 2019 Free Agency

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)    Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 24, 2018 in New York City. The Celtics defeated the Knicks 121-112. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Knicks have been relatively quiet this summer, but that could change in 2019, when they could make a push for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

ESPN's Ian Begley reported there's a belief among NBA executives Irving could have the Knicks among his options in free agency should he opt out of his contract.

When he sought a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, Irving listed the Knicks as one of his preferred destinations.

During an episode of his podcast, Yahoo Sports' Chris Mannix posited the Boston Celtics "should be scared to some degree" of Irving leaving after the 2018-19 season (h/t NBC Sports Boston). According to Mannix, Irving also discussed the possibility of joining the Knicks when he played for the Cavs.

Whether or not the team can sign Irving, Knicks head coach David Fizdale praised the work of team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry to prepare for next summer, per the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy:

"I just feel like if we continue to build this the right way, [Perry and Mills] have done an incredible job of lining it up so that we’re in a position next summer to make moves. I just feel like with the relationships we’ve built and our approach to the game and our view of players and the way we view guys and the way we treat guys and the culture we want to build I really think we’re going to find somebody who fits the bill."

Irving, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler are among the notable stars eligible for free agency.

Signing one of those players will be easier said than done. Beyond the hurdles presented by the Knicks' general dysfunction and string of losing seasons, the front office will have to move money around just to have the salary cap space.

New York is projected to have $44.7 million in cap space available in 2019, per Spotrac, but that doesn't factor in a long-term extension for Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis has a $7.5 million cap hold, which is well below the cost of a max contract.

Finding a taker for Joakim Noah ($37.8 million over the next two years) is likely a prerequisite before the Knicks can join the 2019 free-agent bonanza.