While it’s not always the best idea to believe in pre-free agency rumors, there could be some truth behind them, especially for the New York Knicks. With star point guard Kyrie Irving reportedly going to the Brooklyn Nets, it’s expected that Kevin Durant will follow in his footsteps.
The Knicks are being coined as “no mans land” for superstars, as some aren’t even willing to give them the time of day for an “in person” interview. Toronto Raptors star, Kawhi Leonard, is keen on giving the Knicks a mere phone interview and nothing more.
The youth agenda the team has adopted has clearly been a deterrence for some free agent, as moving to an established team with a veteran presence seems more attractive.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith went as far as to say:
The New York Knicks, from what I’m hearing, it’s bad enough no one anticipates they’re going to get anybody…I’m hearing the New York Knicks might not even get an interview in person. If they get something, it’ll be phoners. I haven’t spoken to the Knicks, I don’t know if that’s true. But I’m hearing a phoner! Phoners, Max! Phoners.
If the organization strikes out on all of the superstars, they will have to dig into a second-tier market that includes D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Demarcus Cousins, Bobby Portis, Tobias Harris and more. There’s plenty of talent that will be remaining for the Knicks to search through.
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Rumors have also indicated that the Knicks could look to sign second-tier players to a one-year deal in an attempt to remain competitive in 2019 but to also keep their cap space flexible for the 2020 free agent class. That’s the best case scenario given the strikeout this offseason.