Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Knicks at 3/1 odds to land Kyrie Irving, per Bovada
The Knicks now face odds of 3/1 to land Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, according to betting site Bovada.
The Cavs are at 1/1 to retain the New Jersey native and former St. Patrick’s High School star.
“We have Kyrie Irving as the favorite to land in New York (after Cleveland) because after looking at all the options, this is the team that makes the most sense to us,” Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager, told ZAGSBLOG.“Kyrie wants to play there and would probably be willing to sign there long-term. Plus the Knicks have a player in Carmelo Anthony that is good friends with LeBron, and this year will be all about keeping LeBron happy. We see that a third team might have to get involved for the logistics to work, but in our opinion it is the most likely landing spot for him if he is traded. By trading him to a team that he is willing to re-sign with, the Cavs can maximize what they will get in return and we do not see a deal getting done with the other teams on his wish list (Minnesota 12/1, San Antonio 9/1 and Miami 20/1).”
Irving reportedly lists San Antonio, Minnesota, Miami and the Knicks as his preferred destinations after asking for a trade last week.
“I look at that wish list and I see it as unrealistic at this point during the summer,” ESPN Insider Bobby Marks said Saturday on SportsCenter. “It’s nice to have a wish list and I think if you have a wish list it’s for those players who have a no-trade clause. And unless New York wants to trade Kristaps Porzingis or Minnesota Karl-Anthony Towns or San Antonio Kawhi Leonard. Maybe Miami, they could have a package of Goran Dragic and Justice Winslow but I look at those four teams, at least for now, and I don’t see a fit there.”
Irving is signed through 2019-20. Unlike Anthony, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so he has no real say in where the Cavaliers might trade him.
In terms of the Knicks, new President Steve Mills and new GM Scott Perrysaid last week they plan to build around a young core of Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez and Frank Ntilikina, so they would appear to have no plans to trade Porzingis.
One league source told ZAGSBLOG that the Knicks were not Irving’s preferred destination, and that San Antonio was atop his list. ESPN reported the same information.
Still, another source said the Knicks “for sure” would be appealing to Irving, who reportedly wants a bigger role on his next team and no longer wants to play with LeBron James.
The Knicks could explore an Anthony-for-Irving trade, but the Cavs would need to include Channing Frye’s $7.4 million contract to help make it work, as Cleveland.com pointed out. ESPN.com reported the Knicks would consider sending Anthony and future first-round picks, but would Anthony approve a trade to a Cavs team that would be losing Irving and could lose LeBron James after the 2017-18 season?
Anthony’s preferred destination appears to be Houston, where Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said he would be a great fit with James Harden and Chris Paul.
Asked if he expects Irving to be with the Cavs when the season starts, Marks said: “I don’t see it right now. I don’t know how Kyrie Irving after going in, meeting with Cleveland last week and asking to be moved, can go into that locker room in early September and face those teammates. But we still have a couple months to go. But I think if you asked me right now I would be surprised if he’s in a Cleveland uniform when we get going this season.”
**For more on Kyrie, read about his special bond with a 12-year-old student at The Patrick School.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.