The Knicks’ hopes of adding two stars in free agency now rely on the reported desire of Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard to team up, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York is among the teams with enough cap space to sign both stars, and ESPN reported yesterday that the Knicks and Clippers are the most likely destinations if they do join forces.
Two other potential Knicks targets came off the board Saturday as Kyrie Irving reached an agreement with the Nets and Kemba Walker committed to the Celtics. A source tells Berman that Walker’s family, particularly his mother, wasn’t interested in moving to New York.
That’s not true for Durant, who likes the idea of living in the nation’s largest city, Berman adds. He had his surgery performed in New York and has several ties to the franchise, serving as a mentor to Allonzo Trier and being friends with free agent center DeAndre Jordan and assistant coach Royal Ivey. The Knicks were considered favorites to sign Durant before his Achilles injury in the NBA Finals and are still strongly in the race, according to Berman. However, the additional year and the extra $57MM that the Warriors can offer could still tip the scale in their favor.
There’s more out of New York:
- If the Knicks can’t land one of the elite free agents, their next targets will be point guard Terry Rozier and power forwards Julius Randle and Bobby Portis, Berman relays in the same story. They also have what Berman calls “mild” interest in a one-year deal with DeMarcus Cousins.
- Durant isn’t leaning toward any team as free agency begins, his agent, Rich Kleiman, told Steve Serby of The New York Post. “While I’m doing this interview, Kevin is completely undecided in figuring out what he wants to do,” Kleiman said.
- Whether the Knicks keep Frank Ntilikina or not, he won’t be part of their Summer League team, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. The second-year guard, who has been on the trading block, will compete in the FIBA World Cup later this summer with the French team.