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Kyrie Irving Free to Seek Trade; LeBron's Lakers In - Are Knicks Listening?

If the Knicks do opt to get involved? Kyrie could become the biggest name to headline with the team since Carmelo Anthony was traded to New York in 2011, the same year Irving was drafted.

Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets have been at an 'impasse' on a new contract for the 2022-23 season, potentially resulting in the seven-time All-Star looking to sign elsewhere in free agency.

In fact, as of Monday, he's reportedly been granted the right to seek his own sign-and-trade deal. That's the notable news at it relates to the New York Knicks.

But ...

While two of the teams named as a suitor in the Irving sweepstakes are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Knicks, Woj at ESPN is now reporting that "outside of the Lakers, there are currently no known teams planning a pursuit of a sign-and-trade'' for the Brooklyn Nets guard.

If Irving heads to the Lakers, he will reunite with his Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James, with whom he made three Conference Finals and won the 2016 NBA Finals. Such a reunion would also form a formidable trio alongside Anthony Davis.

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If the Knicks do opt to get involved? He could become the biggest name to headline with the team since Carmelo Anthony was traded to New York in 2011, the same year Irving was drafted.

Irving would unquestionably become the Knicks' best player and the most important foundational building block alongside 2019's No. 3 overall pick RJ Barrett.

Irving gave Barrett some kudos last month during a Twitch stream.

“Y’all keep asking me about RJ Barrett, RJ Barrett is tough, c’mon y’all know this, stop it,” Irving remarked. “Y’all know these things, RJ Barrett is tough.”

If the Knicks found a way to poach Irving away from the Nets, they would thrust themselves back into relevancy in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. While adding Irving doesn't automatically make the Knicks better than the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, or Philadelphia 76ers, he gives them the ability to truly become a contender for the first time in a very long time.

At the same time, Irving remains a controversial figure and the sign-and-trade hoops are challenging to jump through - reasons to tamp down any enthusiasm about Kyrie and the Knicks.