The NBA trade rumors surrounding Kyrie Irving are starting to come into focus, with the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly making a hard push at a deal that would send him to the New York Knicks for talented big man Kristaps Porzingis.
It could take a lot to make the Knicks budge, however.
There have been plenty of rumors surrounding Irving since word leaked last month that he was demanding a trade from the Cavaliers. There are reportedly close to a dozen teams with some level of interest in Irving, and some of those talks have progressed beyond the initial feeling-out stages.
Now, Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Cavs have been zeroing in on Porzingis and could potentially have a deal if they are willing to swallow Joakim Noah’s contract in exchange.
There is at least one major problem right now — the Knicks are holding tight to the talented 7-footer. A report from Newsday claimed that the Knicks currently had no interest in trading Porzingis, who would likely be the centerpiece of a rebuilding effort when the team finally trades Carmelo Anthony.
As Sports Illustrated noted, a straight Irving-for-Porzingis deal would make little sense for the Knicks. While Irving is a very talented guard, that is a commodity in large supply across the NBA. Porzingis, on the other hand, has a rare combination of size, ball-handling, shooting, and rim protection.
Trading for Porzingis would also put the Cavaliers in a pinch, the report added. By locking up so much salary in the big man, they would essentially guarantee that LeBron James would be leaving and there would be little left to rebuild a team around Porzingis. Essentially, they would be going all-in on winning the title in the next season.
If the Cavaliers aren’t able to find a package that would change the minds in the Knicks front office, there are other potential landing points for Kyrie Irving. The Cavs have reportedly been in talks with the San Antonio Spurs as well, and reports indicated that Irving would be willing to sign an extension if he were traded to the Western Conference contender. But, as The Ringer noted, it would take something of a miracle for the deal to come together.
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