Kemba Walker and Kevin Durant nearly signed with the Knicks: ‘pretty close’

Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant
Dec 13, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Two years ago, Knicks fans were ecstatic about the idea of potentially landing one of the best players in the history of the sport, Kevin Durant. Despite coming off a serious injury, Durant has made a full recovery, earning an All-Star appearance last season with Brooklyn.

Over 35 games, Durrant averaged 27 points, 5.6 assists, 7.1 rebounds, and shot 43.7% from the field. He also connected on 45% of his shots from range, averaging 5.4 attempts per game. As one of the most elite scorers in NBA history, Durant also carried Brooklyn during the postseason, postings several games with 40+ points.

The Knicks could’ve used his prowess and production last season paired with Julius Randle. However, they were forced to take a more developmental route, plugging holes with journeyman players like Alec Burks and hoping that veterans like Derrick Rose could elevate the roster via trade.

The Knicks nearly had it all:

According to Marc Berman of the NY Post, the Knicks were ‘pretty close’ to landing both Kemba Walker and Kevin Durant during the 2019 offseason. Durant obviously chose the more quaint option in Brooklyn, nestling in the outskirts rather than taking on the big city lights of Manhattan.

Walker desperately wanted Durant to join him at MSG, filling the two max contract placements the Knicks had available. Unfortunately, Durant had his eyes set on Brooklyn, an up-and-coming team with a bit more swagger. Since Kyrie Irving decided to take his talents to Brooklyn, Durant quickly agreed on the same choice.

However, Walker evidently ended up with the Knicks on a two-year, $17.9 million deal this off-season. Taking a significant pay cut, Walker is looking to resurrect his career after playing in just 43 games last season due to a degenerative knee issue.

Kemba did average nearly 20 points last season, 4.9 assists, and shot 42% from the field. As a four-time All-Star, Walker is more than capable of leading an offensive playing elite level point guard. It’s just a matter of stay healthy and consistent throughout the entire 82 game season, and the Knicks assisted him with retaining Rose for three years as well.

While the team might not have a player as great as Durant, they have awesome depth with plenty of starting talent. If they can play together and balance out their strengths, there’s no question they can be a solid team that competes with Brooklyn next season.