Golden State Warriors small forward Kevin Durant is expected to be one of the most coveted superstars in the 2019 NBA free agency period. No matter what the outcome of the 2018-19 NBA season will be, rumors and speculation suggest that Durant will be leaving the Warriors to face the next biggest challenge of his NBA career. As of now, multiple signs are pointing out that the two-time NBA champion will be heading to New York and signing with the Knicks.
After trading the lucrative contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks before the February NBA trade deadline, the Knicks opened up enough salary cap space to give Kevin Durant a max contract and also sign another incoming free agent superstar. However, the Knicks aren’t the only NBA team in New York who will have tons of money to spend in the summer of 2019. According to Zion Olojede of Complex, Durant will be better off joining the Brooklyn Nets than the Knicks.
The Nets and the Knicks entered the 2018-19 NBA season without a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster. But unlike the Knicks, who finished the season with the worst record in the league, the Nets managed to exceed expectations and reached the Eastern Conference playoffs. In his recent article, Olojede gave numerous reasons why Kevin Durant should choose the Nets over the Knicks in the 2019 NBA free agency.
“Let’s compare. Talent? Brooklyn’s better. Coaching? Brooklyn’s better. Front office? Brooklyn’s better by a landslide. To add to that, the Nets have a system that is perfect for Durant. They have an uptempo offense that takes the fifth-most threes per game and relies on the pick-and-roll heavily. They’re third in the NBA in percentage of made unassisted threes, which caters to a guy who feeds off pull-up threes in transition. Defensively, they’d benefit with KD serving as an additional shot blocker next [to] Jarrett Allen and bolstering a weak defense.”
— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) May 2, 2019
The Nets will likely give Kevin Durant a better chance of bringing an NBA championship title in New York than the Knicks. If the Nets decide to part ways with D’Angelo Russell next summer, they will be able to create another max slot that will enable Durant to push through with his rumored plan to team up with Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics. If Irving re-signs with the Celtics, the Nets could chase other big names on the free agency market. Aside from Durant, Anthony Puccio of SportsNet New York revealed that incoming free agent superstars Kawhi Leonard and Tobias Harris will also “at least consider” the Nets this July.