The New York Knicks are not going to give up on the possibility of signing Kevin Durant this summer. Rumors are swirling that the 27-year old Oklahoma City Thunder star is fond of Kristaps Porzingis and his friendship with Carmelo Anthony would be factors that will be in play on how the Knicks could possibly snag him from free agency.
ESPN’s Ian Begley writes that Durant has told friends that he’s a big fan of Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis, whom he described as a “unicorn.” League sources say Durant’s opinion on Porzingis and his friendship with Carmelo Anthony are two factors that will likely play a role in how Durant views the Knicks.
However, it has been stated that the thing that will hamper Durant to listen to the Knicks offer is Phil Jackson. It should be noted that Jackson fired Derek Fisher, who has been close to Durant back in OKC. Durant has been vocal about his displeasure of the Knicks firing his friend and other sources stated that the Knicks could have a good chance with Durant if Fisher was still calling the shots from the sidelines.
However, several stumbling blocks might block the Knicks pursue of Durant and that includes salary cap. Durant is expected to pursue a maximum deal worth $25 million per season and the Knicks only have roughly $33 million in cap space going into this summer not mentioning if Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams pick their player options to give them the flexibility they need to make an offer with Durant.
Also, the Knicks need a steady point guard who could orchestrate plays with Durant. They could go with a potential free agent point guard who is able to provide the leadership on the floor with the likes of Rajon Rondo, Jeremy Lin, and Mike Conley.
However, Marc Stein strongly believes that Durant will sign a two-year max deal with the Thunder with a player option on the second year, which also goes for Durant’s buddy Russell Westbrook. Even Charles Barkley stated that it would be foolish for Durant to leave a team that has the talent and the skills to make another run for the title next season.
“He’d be a fool to leave,” Barkley said of Durant moving on from the Thunder. “He’d be a fool to leave. There’s not another team in the NBA he could go to that’s got more talent than he’s got right now.”
This summer will be interesting as teams battle it out to secure Durant in their roster, but for Durant, he first wants to rest after a difficult seven-game series with the Golden State Warriors and then will sit down with his agent, best friend and father to seek advice for his next move in his NBA career.
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