Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving reportedly wants to play for the New York Knicks, according to Pablo Torre of ESPN. Torre told ESPN’s “First Take” that he received a phone call from a trustworthy person, who informed him that Irving strongly prefers to be traded to the Knicks so he can be close to New Jersey where he grew up and went to high school. Irving met with Cavaliers team owner Dan Gilbert on July 7 and demanded that he be traded to either the Knicks, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, or the San Antonio Spurs. Irving asked for a trade, as he wants to become the focal point of a team’s offense and move away from LeBron James’ huge shadow.

Cavaliers engaging in trade talks for Irving

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, the Cavaliers are now engaged in trade talks for Irving, the team’s top overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Recently, it was reported that the Knicks planned to offer Carmelo Anthony and several draft picks to the Cavaliers for Irving. The Knicks were also linked to a three-team trade with the Suns and the Cavs that would bring Carmelo Anthony and point guard Eric Bledsoe to Cleveland, Kevin Love and rookie playmaker Frank Ntilikina to Phoenix, and Irving and veteran center Tyson Chandler to New York. Upon the request of Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns, the Timberwolves recently joined the chase for Irving with Andrew Wiggins being mentioned as trade bait for Irving.

Butler and Towns both want to form a Big Three with Irving so they can compete in a tough Western Conference.

Anthony’s desire to join Rockets stalling trade talks for Irving

Anthony’s desire to be traded to the Houston Rockets is stalling Irving’s move to New York. According to sources close to Anthony, he is dead-set on joining Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston instead of playing alongside James in Cleveland.

Before Irving's trade demand went public, the Knicks and the Rockets were already negotiating a deal for Anthony, who has a no-trade clause in his contract. It started as a two-way trade with the Rockets offering Ryan Anderson for Anthony but the Knicks rejected it. Then, the Rockets brought in two more teams to facilitate the trade but the Knicks temporarily halted talks after they hired Scott Perry as general manager.

Despite Irving’s decision, Anthony remains steadfast in his desire to play with Paul and Harden instead of joining James and the Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers.

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