New York Knicks news: Did NYK almost make a blockbuster Kyrie Irving trade in 2019 to help recruit Kevin Durant?

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Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

A new report reveals that the New York Knicks once had serious talks about bringing Kyrie Irving to Gotham to wear blue and orange months before he joined the Brooklyn Nets.

While it took a while, the Knicks have finally solidified themselves as a competent and competitive organization again. However, before they were able to bring in head coach Tom Thibodeau, Jalen Brunson, and Josh Hart to help change a terrible culture, the franchise had several failed experiments and missed opportunities.

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One of the biggest letdowns for the team over the last decade was big man Kristaps Porzingis going from the toast of the town to a player recovering from a major injury and placed on the trade block during the tail end of the 2018-19 season. Well, before the organization ended up trading him to the Dallas Mavericks in January 2019, the Knicks were allegedly close to a deal that could have brought them future Hall-of-Famer Kyrie Irving.

“When the calendar flipped to 2019, as Irving’s second Celtics season drifted closer to the All-Star break — which brought us that hallway footage of Irving and Kevin Durant joining forces — Irving started sharing candid thoughts with members of the franchise about his lack of faith in Boston’s direction,” Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fisher wrote this week.

  • Kyrie Irving stats (2023-24): 25.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.3 SPG, 41% 3PT

“The Celtics once dreamed of pairing Irving with Anthony Davis but come late January, when New York’s front office began to quietly pursue deals to move on from Porziņģis, the Celtics and Knicks even held tangible dialogue about swapping Irving for the 7-2 sharpshooter before the Mavericks swooped in and sent a package headlined by two first-round picks to New York.”

There was talking for months before the summer of 2019 that the team had hopes of signing a pair of big free agents, and Fischer speculates the New York Knicks front office at the time may have hoped trading for Irving might have helped sway him to re-sign and then also recruit Durant to join him at Madison Square Garden.

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Instead, the duo took their combined talents to Brooklyn. A plan which ended up failing miserably for both. Irving and Porzingins will now face off in the 2024 NBA Finals as members of the Mavericks and Celtics, respectively.

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