When news broke late Friday that Kyrie Irving had requested a trade, it was reported the Cavs were given four preferred destinations: New York, Miami, Minnesota and San Antonio. While several teams have likely inquired about adding the All-Star guard, it looks like the Knicks and Timberwolves have become serious potential landing spots after appearing on Irving’s initial list.
On Thursday’s edition of First Take, ESPN’s Pablo Torre revealed he had spoken with a trustworthy source who said Irving very badly wants to join the Knicks. It would be a homecoming of sorts for Irving, who attended St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J., where he excelled on the court next to current Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
As for the off-court drama, it’s likely newly-signed executive Craig Robinson, who just joined the Knicks’ front office after serving with the Bucks, provided info on Beasley. As USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt notes, Beasley proved he had grown up in Milwaukee last season. Whether that remains the case under the bright lights in New York City is the question.
If Beasley can bring the offensive firepower while keeping the media’s focus on basketball, this could be a great value signing for the Knicks, particularly in the event Anthony is moved. Beasley could end up seeing significant minutes next to rising star Kristaps Porzingis, but Beasley appears to recognize he can still find playing time as a supporting act. He should yes, that’s a big should understand Porzingis is the guy and not swallow possessions. (Beasley had the second-lowest usage percentage of his career last season on a team with a similar unicorn in Antetokounmpo.)
Beasley certainly isn’t a game-changer, but in the context of what he brings to the Knicks, he may turn out to be a valuable piece as the franchise attempts to build around Porzingis in the post-Phil Jackson era.