The New York Knicks went from laughing stocks of the NBA to preferred destination spots for potential free agents in a matter of days. And all it took was one blockbuster trade to bring former All-Star Derrick Rose to the Garden.
Just one week after Chicago point guard Derrick Rose was traded to the Knicks in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jeron Grant, the talk has now shifted to who else may be joining this new power house squad. The name that frequently keeps popping up with the Knicks is highly coveted free agent Kevin Durant. And according to USA Today, the Derrick Rose trade has earned the Knicks the opportunity to pitch Durant on coming to the Garden.
“The New York Knicks have earned their way onto Durant’s radar having traded for Derrick Rose recently,” writer Sam Amick reported citing the “combination with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis” as reasons to want to speak with Phil Jackson and company. The report also suggested that Durant has already written off the Lakers and hometown Wizards as viable options because they’re not in a position to contend for an NBA Championship.
And it isn’t just Durant who may want to be a part of it. The New York Daily News has reported that reigning sixth man of the year, and former Knick Jamal Crawford may be interested in a Garden reunion as well.
“I’m not talking about any one team but everyone knows how I feel about New York,” Crawford told the News. “I really enjoyed my time there.” And according to the report, the feeling is mutual among the Knicks hierarchy.
“[A] potential option for New York is free-agent center Dwight Howard. The Knicks are one of several teams that Howard would consider in free agency, league sources say, but their interest in Howard is unclear at this point.”
And while a Howard-Rose-Anthony trifecta would have been a dream team a few years back, the likely target for Phil Jackson to replace Robin Lopez with is Rose’s former teammate, free agent center Joakim Noah. Noah is a Brooklyn native having lived in the borough for many years as a child and his relationship with Derrick is strong. This becomes yet another example of how credible the Knicks have now become thanks to this deal.
It wasn’t too long ago that the only talk in New York was the underachieving performance from President Phil Jackson in helping to secure talent to build around Carmelo Anthony. His insistence that the Knicks employ the triangle offense, which many consider to be outdated, became another road block as was his stance that the next coach of the Knicks be someone he has a personal relationship with, not necessarily the most the talented option available.
But with the Derrick Rose deal, and inking outsider Jeff Hornaceck to be the next head coach, the signal to free agents like Kevin Durant is clear: the NY Knicks are back.
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