Let’s take a moment to consider how Kevin Durant feels towards signing with the New York Knicks. He sees a team that’s perennially bad and struggles to compete at a high level, but he has the opportunity to change that narrative on the biggest stage at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of basketball.
Durant sees the youth agenda they’ve adopted and the young players currently on the roster to help him succeed if he elects to take his talents to New York. However, he alone won’t be able to change the course of the franchise, a co-star will be needed to succeed.
My primary concern is: If the Knicks strike out on Kyrie Irving will it cause Durant to go in a different direction?
I don’t necessarily think that Durant is relying on Irving to come to the Knicks, as there are other stars on the market. Players like Kemba Walker and DeAngelo Russell could fit the bill and convince the Warriors star to come to the Big Apple anyway, but Irving is a special talent and is the better option, despite his injury history.
It really depends on who Durant wants to play alongside and if the Knicks can convince them to join the ranks. Other options would be Kawhi Leonard who will likely stay with Toronto, Jimmy Butler, and Klay Thompson who is rumored to stay with Golden State.
The Knicks need to be involved with every player worthy of a max contract this summer – it’s even possible they pursue an Anthony Davis trade, however, a deal of that magnitude would take away a majority of the youth they’ve added in recent years.
A combo of Durant and Davis would be an exciting thing to watch, utter dominance on a daily basis. Hmm, maybe that could be something to consider.
At the end of the day, I would conclude in saying losing Kyrie would surely put the Knicks at a disadvantage when it comes to landing Durant. Further lowering the probability around a deal that’s far from reality doesn’t help.