Once again, the hearts and minds of New York Knicks fans have been shattered. The vibration that was sent through Warriors star Kevin Durant’s calf spelled trouble for the free agency period, despite teams being unphased by the assumed significance of the injury.
Many general managers have not shied away from stating they will still offer Durant a max-contract even after an expected torn Achilles tendon. However, the Knicks, who will have room for two max-deals, might be more inclined to shift their efforts towards Anthony Davis, who named them as one of his preferred destinations.
Davis, who’s coming off a stellar year averaging 25.9 points-per-game, would cost a lot more than a max-contract if the Knicks are looking to bite. They would have to give up the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, in addition to multiple young talents looking to take the next step on the starting team.
The Pelicans star is ‘that’ good, though, which makes a deal possible. Now, I wouldn’t rule out the Knicks staying put with their focus on Durant, who will lose a bit of leverage after the injury.
An Achilles tear typically requires between 4-6 months of recovery, and even then the muscle can never return to full strength. That reality poses a risk in of itself, but it’s one the starving franchise might need to take, especially if they lose out on Kyrie Irving and other top free agents.
Durant was rumored to be on his way to New York after purchasing a home and stating his desire. The reality is that the injury will play a significant part, but giving up the house for Davis is still the lesser of the two options, considering the boat-load of money the Knicks have to spend anyway.
The question we have to ask ourselves is – did the New York Knicks dodge a bullet?
Durant coming to New York would have been phenomenal, but at 30-years old and now facing a major injury, his potential is lessened exponentially. Maybe, the Knicks should stick with their youth talent and build for the long haul and not the short term.
Continue to develop the talent on the roster and add pieces every year to assist in their growth, instead of overpaying in an attempt to bring expedited success.