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Celtics will face strong competition for Kyrie Irving in next year's free agency [NBC]

GiveMeSport | Updated: 2018-09-14 22:45:08

Although the 2018-19 NBA season is yet to begin, there is already much talk about what could happen next summer in the 2019 free agency.

Despite the fact a lot could change in the league between now and then, there are several big-name players that could be available for teams to fight over.

One of those big named players is Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving, who could be a free agent if he decides to opt out of his current deal with the franchise.

Plenty of teams that need a point guard will be after him if he does exactly that, and one of those teams will be the New York Knicks if reports are to be believed.

According to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports on the Bulls Talk Podcast, Irving will be the Knicks' first, second, third and fourth choice in free agency in 2019 if he is available.

He said: "I can tell you right now, the New York Knicks, he is their No. 1 target.

"I’ve spoken with people within that organization. They have made it absolutely crystal clear to me that, if they had their pick of guys that are going to be in the free agent market this summer, Kyrie would be their first, second, third and fourth choice."

Due to Irving's recent history and comments, it wouldn't be far-fetched to see him on the court for the Knicks this time next season.

The point guard hasn't been very clear on his future with the Celtics, and prior to his trade to Boston from the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer, he stated the Knicks as a preferred destination.

However, Irving won't be the only top free agent possibly available in 2019, as Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and Klay Thompson could all be free agents too.

Durant and a healthy Leonard are much better players than the point guard as well, but both of them have expressed desires to play elsewhere too and are unlikely to land in New York next summer.

With the Knicks reportedly planning to stretch Joakim Noah this season, this will allow them to set up max cap space next summer. Therefore, they could be more than just interested in Irving.

Yet, it looks as though they'll focus on signing the current Celtics star first should he become a free agent before looking to add other stars to their roster.

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