Despite missing the Eastern Conference Playoffs for the sixth straight year, the New York Knicks remain very optimistic that they could once again rise to the top of the Eastern Conference and bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The Knicks have plenty of ways to improve their roster in the 2019 NBA offseason. After trading the lucrative contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks before the February NBA trade deadline, the Knicks have opened up enough salary cap space to chase at least two superstars in the 2019 NBA free agency.
The Knicks have already been linked to several NBA superstars, including Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors. With the Raptors only one win away from capturing their first NBA championship title, most people believe that Leonard will consider signing a new deal to stay in Toronto next July. However, in a recent episode of First Things First, which is currently posted on Twitter, FS1 analyst Cris Carter said that Leonard will be leaving the Raptors to join the Knicks in the 2019 NBA offseason.
“The probability [of Kawhi going to the Knicks] is high… higher than people think,” Carter said, as quoted by Forbes.
After the successful acquisition of Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks are expected to use their second max lot to chase the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker on the free agency market. However, the Knicks are aiming for a bigger superstar and are reportedly planning to go after Kevin Durant. As FS1 analyst Cris Carter noted, seeing Leonard and Durant teaming up in New York is a “real possibility” next summer.
“I believe the Knicks have a shot to land Kawhi and KD,” Carter said.
Kawhi Leonard: 5 Things To Know About The Toronto Raptors’ Best Player In NBA Finals https://t.co/0GMG9hPot2
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Some people may question the credibility of Cris Carter’s statements, but Tommy Beer of Forbes revealed that the FS1 analyst really has a connection to Kawhi Leonard’s camp. Beer said that Carter shared the same agency as Leonard when he was still playing as a wide receiver in the NFL.
“For background, it’s important to note that this isn’t just another talking head on TV spouting off a random opinion. It’s believed that Leonard is represented by the same agency that repped Carter during his playing days in the NFL. In addition, Carter and Leonard worked out together last year in New York, while Kawhi had distanced himself from the Spurs organization.”
Acquiring Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 NBA free agency will turn the Knicks from one of the worst NBA teams in the league to a legitimate playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. To boost their chance of having a shot at the NBA championship title, the Knicks may also consider engaging in a blockbuster deal to acquire another superstar next summer.