On the surface, the second round of the Celtics against Milwaukee is good news for the Knicks, paving the way for Kyrie Irving to be rescued in a dysfunctional situation.
However, Irving's fall in the Milwaukee series and the off-season with the Celtics cause concern if he is the right player at the right time for the young Knicks.
Raises the question of whether Irving, without Kevin Durant to take part of the load, is a number one superstar, with a franchise in the back.
"Kyrie is a great player, but he has suffered many injuries and has accumulated many miles during 26 [years old]"An NBA scout told The Post after the collapse of the Celtics." As we have seen, he can not carry a team and needs the ball as a volume shooter. If the Knicks give the maximum, they will probably pay another player in decline and sell it as a big win. It's like paying a premium for an action with a downward trend. "
Matching it with Durant, or Anthony Davis, would create few worries. It has been shown to be a number 2 star or a teammate in a championship team. The fear is if Irving comes alone to New York.
The alarming part of Irving's two seasons in Boston is the inability to connect and nurture the young talents that surround him. That's all the Knicks have.
Reserve setter Terry Rozier, a 2018 playoff star when Irving was reinstated, made rough statements after the Celtics flew back in Game 5 on Wednesday night, saying he "sacrificed" more than anyone.
The comment probably refers to Irving, considering how he played in Game 5 of the Milwaukee series, becoming an isolation machine.
"The coach was in a difficult position to deal with all these guys with attitudes, all of that, the guys who are All-Stars get a lot of money, the ones who try to get paid," Rozier told Yahoo.
In one case, in the third quarter, Irving led three Bucks players who surrounded him and forced a jump ball. Irving showed no inclination to move the ball while driving in traffic.
Rozier, who also likes the Knicks, is a restricted free agent and the Celtics could decide that it is the youngest, and youngest, option to move on.
"You could say that the Celtics are harder to play against, with Rozier defending and organizing," said the scout. "They have very interesting things to come."
Irving fired shots in the media at some of his younger colleagues, such as Rozier, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Maybe that was Irving's attempt for leadership, but the method did not develop. The peculiar Irving often speaks in riddles, his flat Earth declaration still staining him.
"I think he really does not want what comes with being the leader," said another talent evaluator for the NBA. "That's really about that."
In the defense of Irving, the scout said he was facing an underrated defender at the Eric Bledsoe in Milwaukee. Irving also faced possibly the best NBA coach in Mike Budenholzer, whom the Knicks interviewed and aired.
Irving's first mode in Milwaukee on Wednesday was worrisome because of its clear ineffectiveness.
With Gordon Hayward away from the No. 1 player who used to be in Utah after a devastating leg injury last season, Irving could not lift the Celtics after a regular season of 49 wins. He shot 25 of 83 in the last four games against Milwaukee and showed no responsibility, until the bitter end. Irving gave Milwaukee credit for his brilliance instead of recognizing his miserable series.
Irving refused to give details about his future Thursday, and decided not to talk to the media after his final interview. After Wednesday's game, Irving said ominously: "He's moving to the next thing and seeing where that ends up."
It puts the Knicks squarely in the game with them with two maximum contract slots.
It is known that Durant, whose potentially devastating calf injury could also change his future mentality if the Warriors are eliminated without him, is Irving's friend.
But if Irving prefers joining the smarter Nets or Clippers or looking for a LeBron James meeting, it might be better for the Knicks to go after the Bronx Kemba Walker product than West Orange, NJ, the prodigy, especially if they're the shipowner Ja Morant.
During the 2017-18 season, when Walker was in the block, the Knicks had no interest in trading with him because, ultimately, he would end up as his top free agent, according to a source.
Since then, Walker has improved in all aspects, although he did not lead Charlotte to the playoffs and has much less experience in the postseason than Irving.
However, after Walker's All-Star season in which he averaged 25.6 points and 5.9 badists, there is a genuine organizational debate about whether Walker and his good-natured person are more suitable than Irving.