After news of his recent trade request broke out, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving has reportedly shown interest in being dealt to the New York Knicks.
The All-Star playmaker seemed to have New York as a front-runner, and wants to suit up for the Knicks ‘very badly,’ per Pablo Torre’s report on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday, July 27.
“I got a phone call, and the voice on the other end of that phone call was a very trustworthy person,” Torre shared on the show. “And he was saying to me that Kyrie Irving very badly wants to be a New York Knick. Kyrie Irving wants to come home.”
Irving was born in Melbourne, Australia but went to high school in nearby New Jersey.
Chris Haynes of ESPN earlier revealed, through league sources, that Irving has listed the Knicks as one of his target destinations, which include the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Knicks finished in 12th place in the East at 31-51 last season, and has dealt with its own turmoil involving star player Carmelo Anthony and now-former team president Phil Jackson, plus bad blood involving former player Charles Oakley and team owner James Dolan.
Irving, 25, has been with Cleveland since his rookie season when he was picked first overall by the team in 2011. He remains under contract with the Cavaliers for two more seasons, with a player option on the third year.
Irving had reportedly been upset after hearing he had been included in trade talks for deals to acquire Paul George or Jimmy Butler, and wants to get out from LeBron James’ shadow to be the focal point of a franchise.