New York Knicks: Kyrie Irving already considered NYK for free agency

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball against Allonzo Trier #14 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on October 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball against Allonzo Trier #14 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on October 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Kyrie Irving again confirmed his commitment to the Boston Celtics, but said the New York Knicks were once in consideration, according to the New York Post.

Kyrie Irving himself squashed the talk of his departure to the New York Knicks in the preseason, when he confirmed a commitment to the Boston Celtics. Despite no new contract, it seemingly put any link between the 2016 NBA champion and playing at Madison Square Garden behind.

On Saturday, Irving’s Celtics went to MSG and defeated the Knicks, 103-101, in which he contributed 16 points and five assists, while Jayson Tatum closed the game to give the Eastern Conference favorites the win. The 26-year-old’s biggest statement happened after the game, though.

According to Peter Botte of the New York Post, Irving told reporters how every team was considered for his future home, but the Knicks stood out especially, due to personal ties in the Tri-State area:

"“I mean, every team was under consideration, but obviously New York held a special place for me,” Irving said after Boston edged the Knicks, 103-101,Saturday night at the Garden. “Just being from [New] Jersey and envisioning myself as a free agent and ultimately taking a meeting and playing for Fiz and the great young core they have here, thinking about playing with KP, that was a big thing before I made my decision to sign back — or, I don’t want to get in trouble, to plan on re-signing back — with Boston.“But yeah, of course, New York was a strong consideration.”"

Those comments arrived eight-plus months before the Duke product hits free agency, so his future apparently went through its thought process before the 2018-19 season. That’s as well as the idea of an all-star combination with Kristaps Porzingis.

Irving still must sign a new deal to officially affirm his commitment to Boston when he opts out of a salary for 2019-20, but it obviously seems that’s the plan as of Oct. 20.

For now, it takes one name off New York’s free-agent board for 2019. Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler are among the other big names set for the open market, with unknown futures for most, if not all of this group.

Durant’s name already floated around the Knicks, even after two championships with the Golden State Warriors and a third potentially on the way in June. So it hardly makes an offseason change guaranteed, barring other events that transpire over the next seven months.

After that, it’s unknown how the Knicks will play into the superstar free agents of 2019, if at all. They project to have over $30 million in cap space, so there’s room to sign one of these players or any other maximum contract players that leave their current teams.

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Irving may not be one of them, but his openness on considering the Knicks still provided intrigue. While it’s not over until he puts pen to paper, and he can still take that meeting with David Fizdale, expect him to stick with that group of Celtics for the next four or five years.