The optimism to land superstar Kevin Durant in free agency is dwindling for the New York Knicks, despite his moving from Malibu to the city that never sleeps. With concern over potentially striking a deal, there has to be a backup plan, or rather plan(s).
It has been reported that the Knicks might look to sign Durant’s former teammate with the Golden State Warriors, Demarcus Cousins. A potential big-money, one-year deal could be in the works, however, I don’t necessarily see the value there.
Signing a one-year deal would only take playing time away from the young core of the Knicks in what should be another building season where their player gain essential experience so they can compete in 2020.
The Knicks are weighing the prospect of extending a considerable one-year offer to Warriors free-agent big man DeMarcus Cousins if they miss out on top target Kevin Durant, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 27, 2019
The Knicks seem more interested in finding a true organization leader that can carry the team with deficiencies at other positions than diving into the second-tier market. Players like Tobias Harris and Kemba Walker might even be out of their comfort zone.
The New York Knicks are ready to spend big money:
If they’re focused on bringing in the best of the best, I anticipate them dropping serious cash to bring in a top player — record-breaking money.
The contingency plan, though, is to sign short-term deals to keep flexibility in their cap space moving forward so they can pursue other top option next year. With players like Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard available right now, it’s important they land one max-contract player.
Cousins, the player of notice, was adequate with the Warriors, nothing more, nothing less. He averaged 16 points and eight boards per game in 30 regular-season games. While we can chalk up his decent season to adaptation hurdles, there’s reason to believe he can succeed in New York.
Again, taking time away from the Knicks youth to sign a one-year max-deal doesn’t make much sense unless they truly believe 2019 can be a competitive season.