The New York Knicks finished 2018-19 with the worst record in the NBA. They traded away former first-rounder Kristaps Porzingis, as well as decent pieces in Tim Hardaway and Trey Burke, to the Dallas Mavericks. It was an all-out tanking, but according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
In an article by Source Magazine, Smith is quoted as saying there’s a “95 percent chance that Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will team up in New York next year.” Smith also tweeted this out, saying Durant is the bigger uncertainty at this time.
This would be a change for Irving’s free agency future based on recent rumors.
Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus talked about how Irving may have patched things up with LeBron James, which signalled a reunion in Los Angeles.
“I had to call [LeBron] and tell him I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips … I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that, and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people.”
Irving acknowledged that he made mistakes and failed to see the bigger picture in Cleveland, focusing instead on stats and All-Star teams. Perhaps Irving doesn’t mind being Robin to LeBron’s Batman again.
CBS Sports’ Kevin Skiver argues that Brooklyn, not New York, is the more likely landing spot. The point being, most everyone feels Irving’s days in Boston are done.
Durant’s hesitation comes with leaving an already-established winner in Golden State. On Friday, The Athletic’s Sam Amick wrote this:
There’s a recent sense in Warriors circles that maybe he’ll think twice about joining them on this trek across the Bay Bridge, that this recent stretch of domination and fan appreciation might be the kind of thing that convinces him to – cue LeBron James’ personal motto that hasn’t exactly panned out in Laker Land – RWTW (Roll With The Winners).
With that said, ESPN’s Ian Begley reported on April 26th that both former and current teammates of Durant believe he is headed to the Knicks. Begley added that agents feel there just needs to be “pen to paper” for it to be official.
It’s easier to find street parking in Manhattan than it is to find an NBA executive, player or coach who doesn’t think Durant is going to sign with the Knicks in July.
Some of Durant’s former teammates think it’s going to happen, per ESPN sources. Several of his current teammates have told friends that they think it’s going to happen, sources said. Opposing agents believe it’s a fait accompli: “Just a matter of putting pen to paper,” is how one agent of another top free agent in the 2019 free-agent class put it.
Lots of rumors will continue to swirl about a Irving-Durant team up all the way up until free agency starts on July 1.