When the 2017-18 NBA season officially came to an end, New York Knicks center Enes Kanter started recruiting LeBron James to their team. Kanter said the only way James could prove that he's really the "King of New York" is to join the Knicks. Unfortunately, the 33-year-old small forward decided to take his talent to the Western Conference and signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
With their failure to acquire a superstar this summer, the Knicks aren't expected to make a huge impact next season, especially if Kristaps Porzingis will be needing an extended time for his rehabilitation. Still, Enes Kanter is very confident that they can put the Knicks back on the map in the next couple of years. In an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Kanter answered several questions about the Knicks, including the rumors about Kyrie Irving's desire to play in New York.
"Yes, he is," Kanter said when asked if he thinks Kyrie Irving is interested in joining the Knicks next summer. "And Not just him. Jimmy Butler and you know what, why not Kevin Durant?"
Enes Kanter believes it's not just Kyrie Irving, but also Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant. The 26-year-old center doesn't have any hard evidence to support his claim, but since the offseason started, there were rumors circulating around the league that Team USA teammates Irving and Butler are planning to play together in one team.Both superstars have declined the contract extension offered by their respective teams to test the free agency market next summer. If the rumors about their potential reunion in 2019 are true, Irving and Butler may end up being a realistic free agency target for the Knicks. However, to make the dream scenario possible, the Knicks will be needing to make multiple roster moves to create enough salary cap space for two maximum-salaried players. Kanter, who is also set to become an unrestricted free agent, may be forced to take a veteran minimum deal to return to the Knicks.
Meanwhile, it's surprising that Kanter mentioned Kevin Durant as one of the NBA superstars who could express interest in joining the Knicks next offseason. Since Durant joined the Golden State Warriors, Kanter has been talking trash about him, and they frequently exchange insults whenever they see each other on the court.
The acquisition of Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and Kevin Durant might only be part of Kanter's wishful thinking, but it's interesting to see if the Knicks are really planning to be aggressive in the free agency market in the summer of 2019.