On Thursday, almost a week after requesting a trade, Kyrie Irving reportedly stated that he wants to play for the New York Knicks “very badly.” This comes after a week of rumors and speculation surrounding the 25-year-old point guard. New York fans everywhere probably jumped for joy at the news. Yet, Knicks fans must be aware that ultimately where Kyrie lands is not up to him for two important reasons.
The first reason involves current Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony. Unlike Irving, Anthony’s contract has a no-trade clause, which means that he can play a huge role in where he ends up next. At the beginning of the offseason he said he would drop the clause for either the Houston Rockets or the Cleveland Cavaliers. At this point, it is clear that he has made the Rockets his primary choice.
The Knicks at this time have not agreed to the terms that the Rockets put forward, which is a Ryan Anderson for Anthony trade. The Knicks have no interest in Anderson and are more interested in developing or getting younger players.
Regardless, Carmelo has put the Cavaliers on the back burner, still pushing for the Rockets. Unless he decides to allow a trade to Cleveland, any future deal involving Irving is dead in the water.
Even if the Anthony agrees to be traded to Cleveland, there is still the second factor to consider: the Cavaliers’ pursuit of Kristaps Porzingis. The Cavs have reportedly expressed interest in Porzingis if a trade should occur. Obviously the Knicks aren’t ready to part ways with Porzingis, thus they would have to renegotiate the terms for a trade to happen.
Ultimately, the Cavs are going to do what’s best for them. They apparently tried reaching out to Irving on Thursday, but couldn’t reach him. If they feel as though he isn’t cooperative then he may not be so willing to listen to what the organization has to say. The Cavaliers could end up keeping him or sending him to another contender such as the San Antonio Spurs or Miami Heat. They could send him to any team who offers the best return package, contender or not. Clearly, Irving doesn’t have the last word on the topic.
With all these factors in the air this trade scenario is anything but simple. Both the Cavaliers and Anthony are hard pressed to get what they want, leaving Irving in limbo. Until some serious renegotiations and considerations take place, Knicks fans may not see the star point guard suit up in the blue and orange next season.