If Kyrie Irving were to leave the Boston Celtics next year, the New York Knicks will be going all-out to get the 26-year-old's signature.

Irving is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract, worth $20.1 million, and while he holds a $21.3 million player option for the 2019-20 season, there's an expectation he will become a free agent.

This was because of his comments from earlier this summer where he was noncommittal about renewing his Boston contract, as he was later linked with a move to the Knicks.

And, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports who was speaking on the "Bulls Podcast" on Wednesday, the Knicks are not just interested in him, but view him as their top target should he test free agency as they look to make full use of their cap space next year.

"I've spoken with people within [the Knicks] organization," Blakely said, as quoted on Bleacher Report. "They have made it absolutely crystal clear to me that — if they had their pick of guys that are going to be in the free-agent market [next] summer — Kyrie would be their first, second, third and fourth choice."

In addition, ESPN's Ian Begley reported in July multiple NBA executives expect Irving to give the Knicks "consideration" in potential free agency. New York's chances would also be helped particularly if they are able to land Minnesota Timberwolves star and fellow potential free agent Jimmy Butler, who along with Irving, are reported to be planning their next move together.

Of course, Irving's decision could be made easier if someone like New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis were to arrive in Boston.

Davis recently parted ways with his longtime agent and is set to join Klutch Sports, who notably represented LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. The news sparked speculation that Davis, who has two guaranteed years remaining on his deal, could possibly move to Los Angeles in a trade, particularly if the Pelicans don't do so well during the time of the trade deadline.

The Celtics have been perennially linked with Davis before and should the MVP finalist become available, they are definitely likely to show some interest as well, especially as they boast the assets and draft picks that can be offered for marquee players.

However, doing so would almost certainly mean an Irving exit. The Duke product left James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 so that he could have a side built around him, and the arrival of Davis would lead to more of the same.

"It’s more to do with how things ended in Cleveland," Blakely added, as quoted on the Express. "I think a lot of people forget how things developed there. Kyrie had signed a max-rookie extension with Cleveland thinking it was going to be his team, he was going to be able to really develop as a player, as a leader and then 48 hours later, guess what, LeBron James is coming to town."

"That is a huge blow to the ego and for him I think that’s part of his thinking why he’s not committing as much to the Boston Celtics as a lot of people expect him to. He did that already and he got bamboozled. And let’s be real, if you look at the Boston Celtics there’s only one player out there that they could potentially trade for… if he becomes available and that’s Anthony Davis."

"If Anthony Davis comes to Boston, Kyrie will once again find himself as the second in command. If I’m Kyrie I would totally play like this like he is right now, which is keeping all options open. The minute you commit to the Celtics sooner than you have to, you’re running the risk of finding yourself in a similar situation in Cleveland where you’re on a good team but you’re not in a position of leadership that you believe you’ve earned the right to be in."