“I think KD should have went there. I think it would have done wonders for him and his career and the spotlight in New York, but that weight of 50 years and not having won a championship dealing with the back pages and all that, I think it has scared New York from getting that marquee guy, that is a top 15 jersey seller kind of guy and perennial All-Star,” Spears said on the July 27 edition of NBA Today on ESPN.
Durant’s decision during the 2019 NBA free agency remains one of the biggest sliding door moments in NBA history. Teaming up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn instead of trying to end the Knicks’ championship drought was a no-brainer at that time.
But Durant never made it past the second round during his time in Brooklyn that anti-climatically ended at the February trade deadline with a mega-trade to the Phoenix Suns.
After Durant chose the Nets, the Knicks settled with Julius Randle, who became a two-time All-Star. An ESPN report quickly emerged that “the Knicks were not prepared to offer Durant the four-year, $164 million contract that the Nets gave him because of concerns about his recovery from his Achilles injury.”
With Randle, instead of Durant, at their frontcourt, the Knicks have been to the playoffs twice and won a series once during that span — the same record Durant had with the Nets.
Would Durant experience more playoff success with the Knicks had he gone there?
Knicks Bring Back Duane Washington, Jr. After Waiving Him
The Knicks have signed Duane Washington, Jr., the team announced Saturday, after waiving the 23-year-old guard last week.
Washington, Jr. was one of the Knicks’ two-way players last season. It appears the Knicks have brought him back on a standard contract, as they already have three two-way players in Nathan Knight, Jaylen Martin and Dylan Windler. It is unclear, however, if Washington’s new deal is an Exhibit 9 or 10 contract or a longer one.
Washington, Jr. averaged 7.9 points, 2.0 assists and 1.2 rebounds over 12.7 minutes in 31 games (three starts) last season with the Phoenix Suns. The Knicks picked him up after the Suns waived him in February.
The Frankfurt, Germany native appeared in four games in the G-League with the Westchester Knicks last season, averaging 20.8 points and 3.5 assists while hitting 36.8% on 9.5 3s attempts per game.
Brock Aller Primed for Promotion
Brock Aller, the Knicks vice president of basketball and strategic planning, has been named as part of the next wave of rising front-office executives, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
“Knicks vice president Brock Aller has been mentioned often by NBA figures for his key role as a strategist for New York under president Leon Rose,” Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer wrote. “Aller joined the Knicks after rising through Cleveland’s front office and Detroit’s before that.”
Aller is a key figure in the Knick’s front office, facilitating the Hart trade, which helped them win their first playoff series for the first time in a decade.
Since Aller came on board, the Knicks have done shrewd dealings from the Ed Davis trade, which netted them multiple second-round picks to extracting extra protected first-rounders and signing key players like Jalen Brunson to descending deals.