Eastern Notes: Knicks, Nurse, Harris, Young

As the Knicks prepare to host the Warriors on Friday night, a banner of Kevin Durant in a Knicks jersey rests outside of Madison Square Garden. Although its creator is unknown, the large, rectangular message reads: “Can you make NY Sports great again?”

Durant, who’s set to become a free agent in July, is expected to receive interest from several teams with maximum-salary space across the league. The Knicks could be one of these teams, with Durant likely to be at the top of their free-agent list.

“I don’t really know how to feel about that type of stuff,” Durant said, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “It’s cool. No disrespect, but I’m not really impressed with that type of stuff.”

Next to Durant on the banner is budding superstar Kristaps Porzingis, a selling piece for the Knicks to help attract free agents in the summer of 2019. In addition to Durant, the team could target the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler or Kyrie Irving.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Nick Nurse could be the key to the Raptors‘ reset, Jake Fischer details in a piece for SI’s The Crossover. Nurse was hired as Raptors head coach this past offseason and has guided the team to a 5-0 record, quickly earning the respect of players, assistants and fans.
  • Nets guard Joe Harris has started the 2018/19 season on a good note, shooting the ball well and proving his worth after signing a new deal with the team this summer, as detailed in a piece by Nets Daily. Harris signed a two-year, $16MM contract to rejoin the club in the offseason, scoring 16 points and grabbing six rebounds on Wednesday against Cleveland.
  • Despite being heavily criticized for trading the rights to Luka Doncic for Trae Young on draft night, the Hawks may have secured a long-term building block in Young, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor writes. Young is making a good early impression, averaging 21.5 points and 7.5 assists through four games.
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