If Kyrie Irving is to leave the Boston Celtics this summer, most expect the star point guard to wind up in New York.

After all, Irving is a West Orange, N.J., native, and the Knicks will have more than enough money to make a legitimate run at him if (or more likely, when) he opts out of his contract at season’s end.

The Knicks, however, might not even be the frontrunner in their own state to land Irving.

“New York is expected to make a summer run at point guard Kyrie Irving, but the Brooklyn Nets are also in the running for the enigmatic champion. In fact, some sources around the league believe Irving prefers the Nets,” New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy wrote Saturday. “In an interview done recently with NBATV, David Griffin — who was the Cavs GM at the same time Irving played for Cleveland — suggested that was the case.”

The Knicks and Nets likely would be making vastly different pitches to Irving. New York, at present, couldn’t be further away from competing for a championship, but that could change in a hurry if it pairs Irving with a fellow NBA superstar and potentially the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s draft. The Knicks also can offer Irving a significant platform, as well as the opportunity to grow his legend exponentially by restoring glory to one of the league’s most historic franchises.

The Nets, meanwhile, are a team on the rise and in need of a bonafide star/leader. Brooklyn could enter the postseason as high as the sixth seed, and the addition of Irving likely would vault the Nets into the Eastern Conference’s top tier as soon as the 2019-20 season.

The impending Irving sweepstakes surely won’t be limited to a two-horse race, though. The Nets and Knicks likely will be among a number of teams vying for the six-time All-Star’s services in the offseason.

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images