Warriors’ Kevin Durant Has New York Knicks To Consider This Summer

kevin durant rumors

Getty Kevin Durant has been linked to the New York Knicks.

Many believe that the New York Knicks are going to dive head first into acquiring free-agent to be Kevin Durant in this summer’s NBA free agency sweepstakes.

Will he come to NYC???

“The Knicks are quietly, I believe, becoming attractive,” FS1’s Jason McIntyre told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast earlier this year.

“The Knicks. Now listen, Zion’s going to be attractive to people. Again, I don’t think he’s going to be like the best player in the league right out the gate, right? He’s going to sell a lot of tickets, he’s unselfish, I actually think R.J. Barrett will be the number one pick, I think he’s a more complete offensive player. I don’t think Zion could be a number one in the NBA on a championship contender. I like Zion a lot, but I do wonder, are the Knicks attractive?”

Durant is heavily tied to folks within the Knicks organization.

For one, his business partner, Rich Kleiman, is a huge Knicks fan and based in New York.

If you’re tardy to the party: Kleiman is also the co-founder and partner in Durant’s The Durant Company and Thirty Five Media. On a recent episode of Alex Kennedy’s HoopsHypes Podcast, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes who had KD on his own podcast discussed that at length. “I talked to KD about that and he said his company has always been based in New York,” Haynes told Kennedy.

“They’re just moving to a new location there,” Durant told Haynes.

“It’s always been [in NY] and he wanted to make that clear. But the connections are all there.”

With the Durant Company, Kleiman oversees Durant’s investment portfolio, including Postmates, Acorns, The Players’ Tribune, JetSmarter.

Worth noting: Kleiman has also gotten Durant into the intellectual property space, as well. His Boardroom show, which I shared would be rolled out soon, has been a hit via ESPN+

 

“I know a lot of noise was made about KD’s company moving to a new location in New York,” Haynes told Kennedy.

“But I talked to KD about that and he said his company has always been based in New York; they’re just moving to a new location there. It’s always been [in NY] and he wanted to make that clear. But the connections are all there. It’s all there. I really do think the New York Knicks are players [for Durant]… I’ll tell you, New York is going to be a player.”

There are more Knicks ties. Like Alonzo Triier.

Triier has been mentored by Kevin Durant throughout his high school and college career. Triier is from Seattle, where Durant was drafted, and the two have a close relationship.

Per Clutchpoints:

“Our relationship has gone all the way through, even until now,” Trier said via the New York Post. “We text, talk and keep in touch all the time. He’s my role model. And if I need anything, I can talk to him — not just about basketball but life.”

KD is also tied to DeAndre Jordan. They won Olympic gold medals together.

“I hate Kevin Durant,” Jordan jokingly told the New York Post.

“I just don’t like him. Terrible guy.’’

When the New York Post’s Marc Berman asked if Durant would be a good fit in New York, Jordan said: “I mean, he won two championships with the Warriors so I mean…” He stopped and nodded.

Then there’s that!

Remember this name: Royal Ivey.

A Knicks assistant coach under head coach, David Fizdale, Ivey, a Harlem native is quite close to Durant. The two were Texas Longhorns teammates and teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder for three years.

KD is the godfather of Ivey’s daughter, Lyric Ella and a league source shared with me that Durant will be in Ivey’s wedding this summer.

Ivey has spent the past two seasons working as an assistant for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He had received interest from other teams as well, including the Philadelphia 76ers.

But he chose the New York Knicks. That could mean nothing or it could just be an advantage that the Knicks do have.

What a good advantage to have, too! 

I discussed it on last month’s episode of The Dime NBA Podcast with Josh Rodriguez. 

“I think it’s important to understand that people say a lot of things,” Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus tells Scoop B Radio.
“Again, these are not depositions. These are not items where if you prove that they contradict themselves, that they’re going to be charged with perjury. It’s just not how it works and he said some things about LeBron, he’s specifically criticized in the media environment around LeBron, calling it toxic, but he didn’t call LeBron toxic, he didn’t say that, you know, LeBron was a bad person, the two of them worked it out and they hashed it out.”
The last time the Knicks were brought up to Durant, it didn’t end well.

KD went on a viral post-game rant about the Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis’ trade after a Warriors 141-102 win over the San Antonio Spurs in February.

“It’s unnecessary,” said Durant.

“You’ve got a dude, Ethan Strauss, who come in here and just give his whole opinion on stuff and just make it seem like it’s coming from me. He just walk around here, don’t talk to nobody. Just walk in here, survey and then write something like that, and then now y’all piling on me because I don’t want to talk about that. I have nothing to do with the Knicks. I don’t know who traded (Kristaps) Porzingis. That got nothing to do with me. I’m trying to play basketball. Y’all come in here everyday, ask me about free agency, ask my teammates, my coaches. You rile up the fans about it. Yo, let us play basketball. That’s all I’m saying. Now when I don’t want to talk to y’all, it’s a problem with me. Come on, man. Grow up. Grow up. Yeah, you. Grow up. Come on, brah. I come in here and go to work everyday, and I don’t cause no problems. I play the right way, or I try to play the right way. I try to be the best player I can be every possession. What’s the problem? What am I doing to y’all?”

After being peppered with further questions, Durant said: “Who are you? Why do I got to talk to you? Tell me. Is that going to help me do my job better? Naw, man. I didn’t feel like talking.”

Durant concluded his presser by stating: “I just don’t trust none of y’all. Every time I say something, it gets twisted up and thrown out. So many different publications try to tear me down with my words that I say. So, if I don’t say nothing, it’s a problem. I just want to play ball. I want to go to the gym and go home. That’s all. Is that a problem? Alright, then.”

KD joining the Lakers is also something that has been talked about at great lengths.

Some believe that KD may think differently after an interview with Bleacher Report in the fall, where KD labeled playing with LeBron James as toxic and admitted that the attention LeBron James receives isn’t his fault.

“So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people,” said Durant.

“He has so many fanboys in the media. Even the beat writers just fawn over him. I’m like, we’re playing basketball here, and it’s not even about basketball at certain points. So I get why anyone wouldn’t want to be in that environment because it’s toxic. Especially when the attention is bullshit attention, fluff. It’s not LeBron’s fault at all; it’s just the fact you have so many groupies in the media that love to hang on every word. Just get out of the way and let us play basketball.”

“Speaks for the state of the business,” NBA insider Chris Sheridan told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

“There’s a lot of aggregation out there. The way these blogs write their headlines is so that people are going to click on it.”

I reported back in the fall that the Lakers are looking to partner Durant, Anthony Davis and LeBron James to create a Lakers juggernaut.

It sounds good. But a lot has happened since then.

For one: LeBon James’ injury on Christmas day happened.

Within the last week, Lakers head coach, Luke Walton admitted that James’ groin “still got a little bit lingering.

 

AND THEN: there’s the KD ‘toxic’ comment with Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher that set the internet blazing hot…hotter than your favorite Drake and Meek Mill Collab.

Ric Bucher and I discussed it last week on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

KD does like to change his mind and do what is best for him.

His move to the Golden State Warriors was indicative of that. He got a ring or two out of it.

That move was a chess move that stunned many people back in 2016 and to be frank, KD is in the exact position that LeBron James was in back in 2014 when he decided to return back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that drafted him in 2014.

That said, Durant joining the Knicks might be a faster route to the NBA Finals in a young NBA Eastern Conference, just like it was for James with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are young and growing. The Toronto Raptors with the addition of Kawhi Leonard makes them a favorite in the NBA Eastern Conference.

But there are no favorites in the East like the Golden State Warriors have been in the Western Conference has in years past.

Last season, LeBron James carried a Cavs team to the NBA Finals with less of a supporting cast than he had when Cleveland made runs to the Finals from 2014-2017.

Translation: A Kyrie Irving-less Cavs team.

Could KD do the same thing with the Knicks in the NBA’s Eastern Conference?

That’s a thought! Do people want to play for the Knicks again?

The nostalgia of the old Knicks lives and with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, NYC could use some good luck. They did just lose Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns the other day.

The ’90s Knicks are a team that NYC still holds in high regard and misses.

“It was hot at Madison Square Garden,” former Indiana Pacers big man, Dale Davis told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

“It was bully ball, so it was an opportunity to see who was the best.”

Think about it: John Starks, Charles Oakley, the late Anthony Mason, Doc Rivers and of course, Patrick Ewing.

Ewing played 17 years in the NBA, 15 of those as a Knick before he was traded to the Seattle Supersonics for Vin Baker.

Ewing finished his career averaging 21 points and a shade under 10 rebounds per game. Ewing and the Knicks had some memorable moments. ​

Could James Dolan, owner of the Knicks play hero and revive them?

“We hear from people all the time, from players and representatives about who wants to come,” Dolan told ESPN’s The Michael Kay Show earlier this week.

“We can’t respond because of the NBA rules, etc. But that doesn’t stop them from telling us, and they do. I can tell you, from what we’ve heard, I think we’re gonna have a very successful offseason when it comes to free agents.”

Dolan stayed away from specific questions about specific players. Pro move. The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t do that and some believe that that is why they didn’t get Paul George this past offseason. The Lakers were also fined $500,000 for tampering. 

“You have to be able to prove things or show a team broke a rule,” one lawyer familiar with the NBA’s tampering policy told Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“If an agent walks up to Steve Mills and says, ‘Clear cap space, player X wants to come’ and Steve doesn’t engage, then it’s not tampering. It appeared Dolan was pretty careful to make it seem like that was the deal.”

By the way, KD still plays for the Golden State Warriors and the NBA Playoffs begin in a couple of weeks.

There’s a chance that he could actually stay too. “I mean, he might stay, you know, try to go for four straight, play his first year in the new arena in San Francisco,” FS1’s Chris Broussard told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

“Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe, Shaq, LeBron, none of them have won four straight championships. That would be a way for Durant to separate himself from all the great players since Bill Russell, cause he’s the last one to do it. I’m not saying Durant would be better than them, but that’s a heck of a thing to have on your resume, so I’m not ruling out Golden State for one more year, and when you ask people around the league, there’s a lot of talk that he’s going to New York and a lot of people think Kawhi Leonard’s gonna go to the Clippers, so that’s kind of what’s out there right now, talking to people around the league.”

Now that’s a thought!

As for what KD does this offseason, the owl from the Tootsie Roll commerical says it best: “The World May Never know.”

In the meantime, James Dolan, the floor is yours:  “I think the Knicks are going to be extremely dramatic between now and the start of next season,” he told Michael Kay.

“It’s a game-changer.”

Editor’s note: The headline and text of this story have been altered after an earlier version of this report contained reporting that could not be corroborated.