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Knicks should go all-in for Kyrie Irving

The New York Knicks have been something of a dumpster fire for the past 15 years. Frankly, that is too kind for the disgrace the Knicks are. Since 2000, the team has been to the second round of the playoffs exactly once.

This offseason, there was ample talk leading up to the NBA Draft that New York president Phil Jackson was willing to trade Kristaps Porzingis, a 21-year-old beacon of light for a team accustomed to the darkness. Luckily for everyone in Gotham, Porzingis didn’t get moved, Jackson was fired immediately after the draft, and the team took an 18-year-old point guard in Frank Ntilikina.

Now, word has broken that All-Pro point guard Kyrie Irving wants to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving, who is both 25 years old and one of the best players in the game, has reportedly had enough of playing second fiddle to LeBron James in Cleveland, and wants to break the mold with a new team. Irving supposedly told Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert that he would like to be traded to either the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves or the … Knicks. Per ESPN:

“Kyrie and I had a meeting with Cavs leadership where we discussed many different scenarios in reference to Kyrie and his future with the team,” Wechsler told ESPN. “The basis of those discussions and what went on in those discussions are between the Cavs and us. We are respectfully going to keep those private.”

New York should be moving the proverbial heaven and earth to make it happen. Pairing Irving with Porzingis would certainly make the Knicks a playoff team in the woeful Eastern Conference. Much more importantly, New York would finally become a free-agent destination once more, with a pair of superstars in their early and mid-20s.

To get Irving, the Knicks would have to send Carmelo Anthony out in a deal, likely along with a first-round selection and Ntilikina. While the price is fairly steep, one can think of it in this light: New York would be getting rid of Anthony – who desperately wants out anyway – while dealing a point guard who likely will never become three-fourths of Irving. The pick shouldn’t be in the lottery, so while you don’t want to part with assets, it’s worth it for a Hall of Fame-level player.

If the Knicks are going to get back into relevance, it starts with landing stars in their primes. Porzingis is already in house, but the team around him is horrid. If Irving comes to town, New York suddenly matters again, and that’s the start of digging out of what feels like an insurmountable hole.

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