Business Insider takes a look at the possibilities that Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler will team up next summer and find a place in the East, maybe New York.
The “buzz” is out there, BI’s Scott Davis writes, quoting two sources of his own and various reports. And like all the other buzz, BI suggests that the Knicks and Nets are strong possibilities for Irving, now of the Celtics, and Butler, now of the Timberwolves.
Here’s the core of what Davis writes...
Two league sources told Business Insider that there is a buzz about the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler teaming up next summer, with one source saying the chatter is “substantial.”
Both sources also said the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could be well-positioned to land the two players if they are indeed keen on teaming up.
”It wouldn’t surprise me if either New York team or potentially both New York teams hit it big next summer,” one source said.
The sources are not further identified. Davis also notes that, among others, Zach Lowe of ESPN, Jay Williams and Bleacher Report have written or spoken about the “buzz” or “chatter,” specifically mentioning the Nets and/or Knicks as their next stop.
Equating the Knicks and Nets chances at this point is kind of foolhardy. New York simply doesn’t have anywhere near the cap space to sign the two to max deals. Brooklyn has more than enough. And the Knicks’ big draw, Kristaps Porzingis, is still in Latvia recovering from his torn ACL with no date set for return. (It should be noted that Rodions Kurucs is the only healthy Latvian player in New York.)
The Knicks could make some draconian moves to add space, like stretching Joakim Noah, who’s owed $19 million in 2019-20, dumping Courtney Lee, who will make $12.8 million then or Lance Thomas, who will make $7.6 million. (The Nets issue is different. They will need to decide how to pay D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie in 2019.)
And that of course leads to the larger question. If the Nets young core in the backcourt which starts with DLo and Din but also includes Caris LeVert plays well, should the Nets be interested in a package? Irving will be 27 years old next summer, Butler will be 29. Would they be considered a “shortcut?” And of course, the Nets ties to Kawhi Leonard (who turns 28 in June 2019) are much stronger. Should he be the primary target of that cash reserve?
Davis says the Knicks have become “increasingly buzzy” the last few months, whatever that means. But then “buzz” and “chatter” don’t get you signatures on contracts. Wins and other things, like relationships, do the trick.