Kyrie Irving is reportedly interested in signing with the New York Knicks. Can David Fizdale realistically lure the All-Star point guard to The Mecca?
NBA free agency began roughly a week ago and we’ve already seen some crazy signings. However, the New York Knicks will be one of the many teams unable to sign any big stars this offseason.
This season, the Knicks are $7,250,985 over the salary cap after Enes Kanter exercised his player option to stay on the team. Knicks coach David Fizdale stated that he has big plans for next season.
Per Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Fizdale said the following:
"“As we get our culture in place, [injured All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis] gets healthy, we start moving into next summer, I really feel like we’ll have the bricks in place to make some big moves.”"
As Fizdale alluded to, the Knicks should have enough cap space to sign a star player to a maximum contract.
A New Face in New York?
Now, the question is: Who could be joining the New York Knicks next season? There are a handful of talented players becoming free agents, and there have already been rumors that Kyrie Irving has New York on his list.
The Knicks were one of Irving’s preferred destinations when he requested a trade, and it seems they still may be.
With no significant playmaker or perennial All-Star on the team other than Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks finished 18th in points per game with 104.5 and 13th in assists per game with 23.3.
Irving, who averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists in 60 games last season, could be the perfect fit for a team that has struggled to find a reliable point guard for quite a while now.
Unfortunately, the Knicks would need to make a move to clear the necessary cap space to bring Irving in.
Is Courtney Lee The Odd Man Out?
With a team full of guards, it’ll be tough for David Fizdale and the Knicks to find a way to fit another one on the team. Bringing in another point guard may force New York to let someone go, so don’t be surprised if Courtney Lee is no longer playing for the Knicks in 2019.
That is a realistic possibility.
Lee, 32, averaged 12.0 points per game in 30.4 minutes for the Knicks this past season, and still has two years remaining on his contract. Getting rid of Lee would free up as much as $12,759,670 in cap space for the 2019 offseason.
It would also allow the younger guys on the team, such as Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and even Trey Burke—who was phenomenal last season—to get some additional playing time.
Fizdale’s first season as the head coach of the Knicks is starting in just a few months, and there’ll be a lot to evaluate as he looks to help turn this franchise around.
Other teams better watch out, as the future of the New York Knicks is looking bright—and Kyrie Irving could be a part of it.