The Knicks hope to have enough space to pursue a top free agent that summer. It’s worth noting that Kyrie Irving will likely be a free agent in 2019. Irving had the Knicks on his list of trade destinations last summer. It’s impossible, of course, to talk with any certainty about potential landing spots for Irving more than 12 months away from his free agency. Plenty can change between now and next July. But people around the league expect New York to remain a desired destination for Irving if he hits free agency next summer. And if Irving is interested in New York, you can be sure that the Knicks will be interested in Irving.
Depending on how things unfold over the next few weeks, Kawhi Leonard could be available in free agency in the summer of 2019 as well. Leonard’s advisers view New York as a potential destination for the Spurs star. So it would make sense for the Knicks to try to draw Leonard as a free agent rather than try to trade for him; any trade for Leonard would almost certainly have to include Kristaps Porzingis heading to San Antonio.
via Ian Begley, ESPN