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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.
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Friday / August 18.
  • Kyrie Irving’s four-team wish list (including Knicks) is ‘unrealistic’

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    Kyrie Irving ‘s four-team wish list is “unrealistic,” according to Bobby Marks, the ESPN Insider and former Nets assistant GM.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers point guard reportedly lists San Antonio, Minnesota, Miami and the Knicks as his preferred destinations after asking for a trade last week. The trade request was first reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN, and confirmed by league sources.

    “I look at that wish list and I see it as unrealistic at this point during the summer,” 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, who starred at St. Patrick’s High School in Elizabeth, N.J., is signed through 2019-20. Unlike Carmelo 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 Perry said 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.

    Meantime, Porzingis took to Twitter to like a Tweet that showed Irving in a Knicks jersey with a caption that read, “All that matters. Bring him back home to play with 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.

     

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. 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.