Mary Altaffer/Associated Press
According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, the Knicks are “all in” on their pursuit of Durant. He cited several league executives who echoed as much, and one player agent said, “Everyone says Knicks” when discussing which team Durant will play for next.
New York has struggled of late and is just 9-25 this season after finishing the 2017-18 campaign with a 29-53 mark. The franchise hasn’t made the playoffs since 2012-13 and has a mere one postseason series victory on its resume since appearing in the 1999 NBA Finals.
Adding someone like Durant would be a quick fix to change those fortunes.
He is a future Hall of Famer who has already amassed two NBA Finals MVPs, the 2013-14 league MVP, eight All-NBA selections, four scoring titles and nine All-Star nods by the age of 30. He could also add a third straight title with the Warriors this season, although leaving to join the Knicks would present a new challenge in his career after playing alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
His potential impending free agency was under the spotlight in November, when he had a back-and-forth with Green in the closing stages of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com reported the altercation spilled into the locker room and was “one of the most intense of this Warriors era.”
They added that Durant’s contract status “heightens the sensitivity of the turmoil.”
It is not difficult to envision the Knicks competing in the Eastern Conference with Durant and Kristaps Porzingis—who has not played this season as he recovers from a torn ACL. A highly regarded rookie could also aid a quick turnaround, with Duke’s Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett potentially available at the top of the 2019 draft.