The latest rumor linking Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant to the New York Knicks suggests that the 10-time All-Star will only sign with the team if he is joined by another star player.
In a report published Monday, Frank Isola of subscriber-only sports publication The Athletic wrote about how the Los Angeles Lakers' struggles in the 2018-19 despite the addition of LeBron James should serve as a "cautionary tale" for Durant, who is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Warriors this summer. As cited by ClutchPoints, there is a possibility Durant could consider signing with the Knicks, though Isola noted that the 30-year-old forward will only move to New York if the Knicks can sign a second free-agent star.
The above rumor comes less than a week after Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher appeared on Fox Sports 1's The Herd with Colin Cowherd and proclaimed that Durant joining the Knicks is as good as "done," as quoted by Complex.
Most reports over the past several months have suggested that the second top-tier player in question could be Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving. However, there have been other teams linked to Irving in the lead-up to his expected free agency, including the Los Angeles Lakers, whom Irving is reportedly planning to meet with this summer, per an earlier report from The Inquisitr. Meanwhile, the Lakers' crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, are also reportedly in the running for Durant, as the team, much like the Knicks, has enough cap space to sign two top free agents this summer.Reacting to Isola's report on Kevin Durant's conditions for signing with the Knicks, ClutchPoints wrote that the new rumors "make sense," given Durant's goal to win more championships on top of the two he's already won with the Warriors. The outlet added that "KD" likely does not want to meet a similar fate as LeBron James, who was the "only star" on a young Lakers team this season and was not able to lead the team to the playoffs as expected.
Separately, a second article from ClutchPoints cited the same report from The Athletic's Isola, which suggested that Durant and Irving are "debating" on who should sign first with the Knicks. According to Isola, the supposed debate between the two prospective free agents is an "important" one, because the player who gets signed second will be perceived by NBA observers as the "follower, not the leader."