Kevin Durant will head into NBA free agency on a down note as the Warriors star reinjured his calf in the NBA finals. The buzz around Durant throughout the season has been the All-Star is targetting the Knicks. Fox Sports’ Cris Carter reported that Kawhi Leonard could be interested in joining Durant with the Knicks.
“Interesting insight from Chris Carter this morning on @FTFonFS1. Carter, who is very close w/ Kawhi Leonard and his camp, said that: “I believe the Knicks have a shot to land Kawhi and KD.” And added that Kawhi and Durant teaming up in New York is a “real possibility,” NBC Sports Tommy Beer tweeted.
There is also some thought the Knicks could look to pair Durant with Anthony Davis via a trade with the Pelicans. The Knicks and Lakers are believed to be the top two choices on Davis’ list. While Davis cannot choose where he is traded, the All-Star big man can threaten not to re-sign with any other teams after next season. The Athletic reported that landing Davis would be the Knicks way of trying to be even more attractive for free agents like Durant.
For the Knicks, securing Davis would be a step to try to begin attracting talent around Davis with a significant upcoming free-agent crop in Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving.
The Nets Are Reportedly Hoping to Pair Kevin Durant With Kyrie Irving
The other team in New York is hoping to throw a wrench in the Knicks’ plans. The Nets are viewed as the front-runners to land Kyrie Irving, which the front office hopes could be a way to entice Durant to Brooklyn. Durant has been open about his friendship with Irving and admiration of his game. Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard reported that the Nets are hoping Irving can be the pitchman for Durant.
“The latest on the NBA streets is Kyrie Irving is leaning heavily towards and is trying to get Kevin Durant to join him,” Broussard reported.
True Hoop reported that Durant’s motivation could be to prove he can win without being on a team of superstars like the Warriors (via Hoops Hype).
This simple analysis brings the list down to five teams, with a nod to the possibility that the Knicks could move toward contention by acquiring an additional superstar. But would that work? NBA sources suggest you can eliminate LeBron’s Lakers and Steph’s Warriors if Durant’s goal remains to avenge his social media critics, to prove he can win on a team that he leads.
Heading into the season, the Lakers and Clippers were also mentioned as potential options for Durant. As the season comes to an end, the Durant to Los Angeles rumors seemed to have died down. It would still be no surprise if LeBron James is not able to at least help the Lakers land a meeting with the All-Star.