Knicks Rumors: Offseason, Durant, Kyrie, Kawhi

Despite winning just 17 games in 2018/19, the Knicks repeatedly suggested they were happy with the direction the franchise was headed. As Ian Begley of details, head coach David Fizdale said that he had heard praise from people around the NBA for how hard his players were competing, and for how the Knicks were treating their players, which was the sort of praise the franchise hadn’t received in recent years.

“In our circles that we travel and the people that we talk to,” team president Steve Mills said, “we know that there is a change in how people perceive us.”

Not everyone is convinced that things are altogether different in New York. One rival executive who spoke to Begley expressed his skepticism: “Maybe it’s just me, but I’d like to see the results on the court before making any bold statements about perception.”

Still, armed with a ton of cap flexibility, a top-five pick, and a handful of other assets, the Knicks are viewed as a team in a pretty good position as they enter the summer.

“If we’re ranking teams heading into the offseason, New York probably has the best tools in the toolshed,” said a Western Conference executive. “Maybe they get it right this time.”

Here’s more from Begley on the Knicks:

  • Several of Kevin Durant‘s current teammates have told friends they think KD will sign with the Knicks, and some of Durant’s former teammates think it’ll happen too, according to Begley. The Durant-to-New-York theories are also popular among rival agents around the NBA. “Just a matter of putting pen to paper,” one of those agents told Begley.
  • In addition to Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard are viewed as potential targets for the Knicks this summer, and while Leonard is considered a longer shot, multiple executives who are “doing their homework” on free agency believe Irving will end up with the Knicks, per Begley.
  • As Begley details, some executives would be surprised if the Knicks spend big on a long-term contract for any free agents besides Durant, Irving, or Leonard. Those execs expect New York to use its cap space in other ways – such as accommodating salary dumps or signing short-term free agent deals – if the team misses out on its top targets.
  • If the Knicks land the No. 1 overall pick, it would put them in a great position to make a play for Anthony Davis on the trade market. However, there’s no consensus that the club would definitely trade that pick in a package for the Pelicans star, sources tell Begley.
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