The New York Knicks were never in play for Kevin Durant in free agency but NBA rumors are stating that team president Phil Jackson has promised new Knicks point guard Derrick Rose that the franchise will try to chase the Oklahoma City superstar in this offseason.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News claims that Jackson had told Rose after the trade with the Chicago Bulls of the plan to sign Durant when free agency opens on July 1.
The Knicks have some tough competition in signing the top free agent in the 2016 market with West powerhouse San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors plus the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards and Miami Heat all hoping to sign Durant.
Earlier in the week, Durant said to reporters that his priority this summer is about “basketball” and that is going to be the major factor in his free agency decision.
“I’m worried about basketball. That’s what it is for me. It’s a basketball decision. I’m looking forward to the future,” Durant said in press conference for his shoe brand.
The Knicks are longshots to acquire Durant in this free agency but they can try to convince him that they are serious in winning next season with the acquisition of Rose plus the presence of promising youngster Kristaps Porzingis and veteran star Carmelo Anthony.
The OKC Thunder were active on draft day moving Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and 11th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Donatas Sabonis.
It’s not clear if the move will affect Durant as he searches for his next NBA team or re-sign with the Thunder.
If Durant’s decision is about “basketball” then the NBA rumors of him going to the Spurs or Warriors make more sense.