The departure of Kevin Durant from the Golden State Warriors has been one of the most talked about topics in the league in the past months. Unlike other incoming free agent superstars, the outcome of the 2018-19 NBA season isn’t expected to affect Durant’s decision in the 2019 NBA free agency. Whether they win their third consecutive NBA championship title or not, rumors and speculations suggested that Durant will leave the Warriors and face the next biggest challenge of his NBA career.
As of now, one of the top NBA teams emerging as Kevin Durant’s next landing spot is the New York Knicks. After dumping 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 offer Durant and another incoming free agent superstar a max contract next July. Less than two months before the start of the 2019 NBA free agency, an unnamed NBA veteran, who is “very, very connected” to Durant, reportedly told Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports that KD-to-Knicks is a “100 percent done deal.”
“An NBA veteran player that’s very, very connected—been around this league a long time—told me 15 minutes ago KD to the Knicks is 100 percent done, and he has made calls to other players,” Cowherd said, as quoted by Bleacher Report.
Some superstars team up to contend. Others team up to make history. My latest, for @SINow, on the basketball partnership of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry: https://t.co/v3SYyZYqje pic.twitter.com/juYq5FMAU4— Rob Mahoney (@RobMahoney) May 14, 2019
If it’s true, Kevin Durant won’t be going to New York alone. As Cowherd noted, the Warriors superstar has also “made calls” to other incoming free agent superstars. On Monday, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN said that there’s a “95 percent chance” that Durant and Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving will be leaving their respective teams to sign with the Knicks next summer.
“I’m told it’s a 90 to 95 percent possibility, assurity rather, that Kevin Durant is going to New York—that’s what I’m told,” Smith said, as transcribed by Bleacher Report. “That he and Kyrie Irving are coming to New York.”
The successful acquisition of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will undeniably turn the Knicks from one of the worst NBA teams in the league to a legitimate playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. In order to boost their chance of winning an NBA championship title, the Knicks may also consider taking the trade route to acquire another superstar where among their potential targets include Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Unfortunately, with the Knicks failing to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, it remains a huge question mark if they have enough trade assets that can convince the Pelicans to send Davis to New York in the 2019 NBA offseason.