If you are wondering why the Knicks did not even land a meeting with Kevin Durant, it might have a lot to do with the Knicks offer. ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne reported that the Knicks offered Durant less than a max contract because of injury concerns.
“The Knicks and owner Jim Dolan were not prepared to offer Kevin Durant a full max contract due to concerns over his recovery from the Achilles injury, league sources tell me and @wojespn. Knicks officials are in Los Angeles tonight, meeting with free agents such as Julius Randle,” Shelbourne tweeted.
Part of this feels a bit like the Knicks way of breaking up with Durant rather than being rejected. Time will tell whether the Knicks knew Durant was not signing with New York prior to deciding they were not going to offer the max.
NBA Free Agency Proves There Are Massive Concerns About the Knicks Ownership
It has been a difficult offseason for the Knicks. New York fans had visions of Zion Williamson and Durant but both players will be wearing different uniforms. If the Knicks completely strike out in free agency, owner James Dolan will have even more scrutiny.
“If today’s events don’t make Jim Dolan take a step back and think about where the Knicks are as a brand — after, remember, Dolan himself promised big things in free agency in March — I’m not sure what will,” The New York Times Marc Stein tweeted.
Shelbourne reported that the Knicks “decided internally” that they were not comfortable with offering KD the full max given his Achilles injury. To put it in perspective, Durant will sign a max contract with the Nets worth more than $160 million. It is an interesting turn of events given the Knicks were expecting “to have an audience with Durant”, per SNY.
Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant are reportedly talking about teaming up and the Knicks have the cap space to land both players. We know that the Knicks feel as if they’re in on Durant as free agency approaches. SNY sources confirm that they expect to have an audience with Durant. As far as Leonard goes, there are people around the NBA Finals MVP who see New York as a destination for him. ESPN reported that Leonard plans to meet with the Knicks.