After the 2016 NBA draft, rumors continue to swirl around the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors who are reported to be having a strong interest with incoming free agent Kevin Durant.
The New York Knicks made their first move by acquiring Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls. Many believe that this could only be part of the main plan to lure Kevin Durant to their team. According to New York Daily News, Knicks president Phil Jackson believes that acquiring the former MVP point guard could lead to a higher chance to land the top free agent, Kevin Durant.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN, Phil Jackson also stated that the acquisition of Derrick Rose brings more confidence to Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony about the team’s future next season.
“We’ve talked about that a little bit. ‘Are we moving fast enough to accomplish goals that you have for yourself and your career?’ Melo and I have talked about that: whether we’re in the right time frame with him, is he disappointed or whatever? I think this is a positive move,” Jackson said. “He sees that as a positive move. I think that’s reinvigorating for him. I think it’s good.”
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors are also showing strong pursuit for the Oklahoma City Thunder small forward. There were rumors that the Warriors are willing to free Harrison Barnes in order to give way for Kevin Durant. The current status of the Warriors can be a reason for Durant to consider them in free agency.
Kevin Durant already stated that the upcoming free agency for him will be strictly a ‘basketball decision’. Many interpreted his statement that he is desperate to win the championship next season. This means that he will choose a team that can be a title contender next season and not a rebuilding team.
However, there is still a possibility that he will re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook did well in the Western Conference Finals but fell short to the Golden State Warriors.
The Thunder recently traded Serge Ibaka for Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo, forward Ersan Ilyasova and 11th overall pick Domantas Sabonis. The team is either preparing for the possible farewell to Kevin Durant or they want to show him that they are serious about building a title contender team next season.
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