After the New York Knicks’ season came to close following a first-round defeat against the Atlanta Hawks, all eyes immediately shifted towards the important offseason.
The team will have a lot of major decisions to make as many of the 1-year deals they signed before the season will now either be looking for pay raises or longer deals — something the Knicks might not be willing to do.
With a decent chunk of cap space available for free agency, there are a lot of different routes the Knicks could take, but there’s been a lot of talk surrounding a potential trade for Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard.
Former Knicks and current Blazers center Enes Kanter doesn’t think there’s a good chance of that happening.
Can The Knicks Get Lillard?
Speaking on SiriusXM Radio, via the New York Post, Kanter argued that Lillard wants to win in Portland and is a very loyal player.
“You know one thing he doesn’t care about big markets, small markets,’’ Kanter said. “He wants to win it all in Portland. I’m saying this every time I talk about him, but he’s definitely one of the most loyal and maybe the most loyal player in the league.”
Of course, it’s worth mentioning this is coming from Kanter instead of Lillard himself. Shortly after the their season ended, the star Blazers point guard posted a cryptic lyric on Instagram asking how long he should stay dedicated.
Kanter sees where Lillard is coming from and shares his frustration.
“I think the one thing that maybe will be frustrating is if he couldn’t do it for Portland because this guy gives it all every night,” told SiriusXM via the New York Post. “Every night he’s hurt, he’s tired, he’s going out there and trying to do the best he can to just win with every game and give us 100 percent. So after the playoffs, I was really frustrated and sad because we couldn’t do it for Dame.”
Knicks Have Made Calls
According to Stephen A. Smith, the Knicks, and many other teams for that matter, have made calls to the Blazers about their superstar point guard.
“A lot of teams have been eliminated over the last couple of days as you all know, and as a result, especially when Damian Lillard got eliminated last night, several calls have come their [the Blazers] way,” said Smith on First Take. “You got a lot of teams, about six or seven different teams who believe that they can get their hands on him, they think they’ve got a shot.”
Whether or not the Knicks will be able to make an offer sweet enough to pry away Lillard remains to be seen. The Blazers are in the process of hiring a new head coach and Lillard is expected to at least consult with the team on the process.
Names like Jason Kidd, Mike D’Antoni and Chauncey Billups have all been linked to the opening, so maybe one of those people will be enough to convince Lillard to give it another go with the Blazers.