Shortly after news of Kyrie Irving's trade request from the Cleveland Cavaliers became public, a list of his preferred destinations was also released: the Knicks, Heat, Timberwolves and Spurs.
It appears that the Knicks might now be the front-runner -- if the choice was up to Irving. ESPN's Pablo Torre reported on Wednesday's edition of "First Take" that Irving strongly prefers to be in New York, close to where he grew up and went to high school in New Jersey:
"I got a phone call, and the voice on the other end of that phone call is a trustworthy person," Torre said. "And he was saying to me that Kyrie Irving very badly wants to be a New York Knick. Kyrie Irving wants to come home."
The Cavs have long been rumored to be interested in trading for Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, but usually those hypothetical trades involved Kevin Love. A straight-up Irving-for-Anthony trade would work financially, but would leave the Cavs with a surplus of forwards and, even with the addition of Derrick Rose, a lack of guard depth.
The Knicks are reportedly willing to trade Anthony for Irving, but wouldn't consider dealing 7-foot-3 prized big man Kristaps Porzingis. Meanwhile, Anthony is reportedly remaining steadfast in his desire to join Chris Paul and James Harden with the Houston Rockets. Ultimately any potential deal hinges on Anthony's willingness to waive his no-trade clause.
Now that Irving's reported preferred destination has been made public, it will be interesting to see if the Cavs and Knicks accelerate talks in the near future.