Kevin Durant Notes: Free Agency, Knicks, Kerr

With Kevin Durant and the Warriors set to play in New York tonight, there has been renewed speculation this week about the possibility of Durant ending up with the Knicks when he reaches free agency in 2019.

While we’re more than eight months away from July 1, 2019, Knicks fans are already figuring out ways to sell the star forward on New York City — as we relayed on Thursday, one fan purchased a billboard near Madison Square Garden this week asking if Durant could “make NY sports great again.” The two-time Finals MVP didn’t sound overly impressed by that recruiting tactic.

[RELATED: Knicks viewed as legit suitor for Durant in 2019]

As Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic writes, Durant is approaching his 2019 free agency planning to be a little more selfish than usual. Having faced a ton of criticism for his last major free agency decision, Durant has resolved to be as honest as possible this time around. For now that means admitting he’s keeping his options open, rather than trying to placate the Warriors – or any other team – with more PR-friendly comments.

After Wednesday’s win over Washington, Durant initially said he’s not thinking about his free agency, but later admitted that there’s one aspect he can’t help but keep in mind.

“I am thinking about the money I’m going to get,” Durant said, per Thompson. “I never got the (massive) deal. I’ve just seen a bunch of dudes around the league making so much money — and I’m happy for them. But I know I deserve that, too. That’s the only thing I’m probably thinking about, to be honest.”

Here’s more on Durant and his 2019 free agency:

  • Asked in general terms this week about the Knicks, Durant raved about playing in Madison Square Garden, praised head coach David Fizdale, and downplayed the franchise’s past dysfunction, according to Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group. “I never looked at this organization or any organization as just being a bad one,” Durant said. “I never really focused much on it. A lot is happening in every organization like that where players are uncomfortable or guys force a trade or coaches and GMs don’t get along. That’s the nature of the business. Even in the best organizations, that happens. It’s just a part of the NBA.”
  • Addressing Durant’s contract situation, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that he and the All-NBA forward “never talk about it,” per Medina.
  • In an article for ESPN Insider, Ian Begley, Bobby Marks, and Kevin Pelton examine whether the Knicks genuinely have a shot to sign Durant, what moves they’d have to make to offer him a maximum-salary contract, and how good the team could be with him on the roster.
  • For what it’s worth, based on the NBA’s most recent salary cap projections, Durant could get up to five years and $221.27MM with the Warriors or four years and $164.05MM with any other team, as we outline here. If he decides to accept another one-plus-one deal, any team with the necessary cap room could offer him his projected max ($38.15MM) for 2019/20, matching what the Warriors could pay him for one year.
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32 thoughts on “Kevin Durant Notes: Free Agency, Knicks, Kerr

  1. Warriors GM said he expects Durant’s negotiations to be short if he chooses Golden State. Says he can have whatever he wants and has always told them he’s happy there.

      • He has the teammates he wants, the victories he wants, the championships he wants, the new arena he wants, the coach he wants, the GM and owner he wants, he owns businesses in the Bay Area, and they can give him the money he’s looking for. He’s not saying anything to keep the media off his back. Like Kyrie, why would he want to go anywhere else? He’d be stupid. If I were betting, sure I’d bet on the Warriors.

        • alphakira

          It’s ironic that you bring up Kyrie…a guy on a perennial Finals lock playing next to the best player in the world…and then he wanted out.

          • Kyrie made a smart move. When LeBron left the first time, he left them with a team that finished with the worst record in NBA history. He leaves again and what’s the Cavs record? (0-5) LeBron was looking out for LeBron and Kyrie was looking out for Kyrie. Good move. Now these marquee players are saying they don’t want to play 2nd fiddle to LeBron.

          • Dodgethis

            Except kyrie never claimed to want to play with James, or that he was happy in Cleveland. He was drafted to be the focus of the team, and then James came back and took over. They got 1 ring, and every one and their brother knows the league manipulated it so they would get that ring. Kyrie did what everyone would do and forced his way out of a bad situation. The warriors are a completely different animal. The warriors are the only team in the league that emphasises team play at all costs. The teams style and roster are a perfect match for someone with Durant abilities/skill set. But, I’m sure your ignorant logic and over simplification make way more sense.

    • xabial

      And what about stupid no-life haters making it their life’s mission to eviscerate KD on social media; same clowns crying over Cousins (who has yet to play a minute), and don’t love basketball (in my opinion)

      If I were him, I’d leave. haters still find reason to hate, but Knicks ain’t no “super team”

      Money can’t buy happiness.

    • snotrocket

      Probably wanted to live somewhere better than Oklahoma. Pretty easy to understand.

    • LeBron left Cleveland twice, and with a pathetic team to boot. Is he feces too?

    • I was right on all the free agents last year. AD’s not going to be a free agent, but he’s not going anywhere. Durant, Thompson, Kyrie, Kemba, Kawhi maybe, Middleton, and LeMarcus Aldridge will stay where they are at.

      • Aldridge isn’t a free agent at the end of the season. Why would he go anywhere…?

        • ESPN has him listed. He’s fine where he’s at. Him and Pop got everything straightened out 2 summers ago.

        • You are right. Basketball Insiders says he can opt out next summer (after this coming one).

      • x%sure

        @Swanson said Lebron would never go to LA. @Mio said he would. @Swanson, @Mio, & @Ptn are the same poster under different names.

        You decide if he was “right about all the free agents”.

        To me, it barely counts as a prediction to say a player will stay. That is the norm. Predict his next stop, that’s impressive. @Gary is a non-LA fan who got James right; I did not.

        • “Everybody” changes their mind dude. I said after LeBron said he’d told his sponsors where he was going that he was going to Los Angeles, along with the others. Chun replied to my post that I was wrong. You just hate it because I’m smarter than you, post in American English, and don’t have tunnel vision. I understand that the Warriors have won 3 out of the last 4 titles, and 8 of the last 9 games. You’ll never be able to live up to it.

          • x%sure

            Maybe once smart, but now demented. Everyone can be always be right if they can change their mind.

            • How many times have reporters flip flopped on Jimmy Butler? I know my educational history. I’ve seen your Cavs predictions. You don’t know squat about the salary cap. I’ve seen your rambling in another language on your posts. I’m just happy for Steph, KD, Klay, and Draymond. Together they are the greatest. You can hope they are splitting up all you want. I’m done here. Comment to your hearts delight.

              • x%sure

                Why would I hope they split up? It’s not even time to worry about that yet, even if I cared. You consolidate your dislikes.

    • sleepyfloyd

      Man you will be so pissed when the dubs sign a Anthony Davis to replace Durant if he leaves.

  2. Just like winning the lottery isn’t an investment strategy, relying on any particular max FA (or one of a number of them) to be to sign with you isn’t a rebuilding strategy. If it happens (and it won’t not happen due to cap space), GREAT. Move Lee if you can, but the rest is for next summer. This season, the Knicks need to evaluate and make decisions about the existing roster, with an eye toward 2019-20.

    There are injuries, and its early, but the minutes have to start being more predictable, and they’ve got to cut down on THJ, and even Burke and Trier, so they can get some ball movement and, who knows, maybe even let someone else shoot now and then.

  3. Armaday

    The endorsements he will make in NY will make him a billionaire. If he brings one other top player to join this team, he may have a shot to make history. If the Knicks win a title with him at the helm, he becomes a legend!

    • sleepyfloyd

      You’re an idiot because the warriors make plenty of Silicon Valley money that most are not aware of. He doesn’t need Nyc to make endorsement money.

  4. x%sure

    Is there a way to sign Zinger& Durant, smaller money for Burke, Vonleh, Kornet, & a couple rooks, AND spread Kanter, on top of $57MM in guarantees? Zinger will have 2 choices, a contract until 2022 or a full one. Too much for me at my level of concern!

    • x%sure

      Nobody? This has to be basic material in the media capital of the world. Durantula and the Unicorn, together!

    • To sign Durant, Kanter is the one guy you mentioned who’s cap hold would have to be renounced. The rest is doable, with maybe a few tweaks, but within their control.

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