Kevin Durant continues to be linked to the New York Knicks, but it sounds like the team will need to land another superstar to pair with him in the Big Apple. The Athletic’s Frank Isola reported that Durant is not expected to sign with the Knicks unless they can pair him with another superstar like Kyrie Irving.
The belief is that Durant will only join the Knicks if another high-level free agent agrees to sign with the Knicks as well. The most likely candidate is the Celtics’ Kyrie Irving, who coincidentally won a championship in Cleveland as Robin to LeBron’s Batman. He could fill that same role at MSG. So sure are some executives and player agents of a Durant-Irving pairing in New York that one agent told The Athletic that Durant and Irving are debating on who will sign first. Why is that important? The player that is signed second is viewed as the follower, not the leader. It’s all rather silly and Knick fans shouldn’t care if Durant and Irving synchronize their signings down to the exact second. But these are the things NBA players think about it.
Durant may have observed what LeBron James went through this season with the Lakers and does not want to have a similar experience. While the Knicks have been viewed as the favorites to land Durant, the team will have plenty of competition to try to sign the superstar.
KD & Kyrie’s Relationship Is “As Strong As Ever”
Despite all the rumors, Durant continues to emphasize that he has not made a decision and is focused on the Warriors current playoff run. Durant told The Undefeated that he does not want to put his teammates in a “messed-up position.”
Yo, just watch the game. Just focus on the game and stop nitpicking, because it is a beautiful game going on out there. What can I do right now? I can’t sign a paper. I got to do the most important thing, and that is play. And that is what we should be focusing on…If I already made a decision, it would take away from the team, what we’re fighting for. Every play would be overshadowed by it. It is not necessary for me to make a decision right now. It would be bad to do that. It would take the focus off of what is important. I would never want to put my teammates in a messed-up position. I want to forget about it.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Durant and Irving are in constant contact. This does not necessarily mean they are always talking about free agency, but it does indicate they would be fond of playing together.
“I’ve had someone reputable this week tell me their relationship is as strong as ever, that Durant and Kyrie talk every day and, if not, text every day,” Windhorst said, per Hoops Hype.