Knicks Notes: Durant, Leonard, Rozier, Ntilikina

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.
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9 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Durant, Leonard, Rozier, Ntilikina

  1. Guessing it’s either GSW ($$$) or the Nets (since Irving reportedly wanted to sign right away – probably to let KD make his announcement).

    • Theone23

      I think the clippers still have a shot. I don’t think he’s going back to Golden State. Clippers or Nets IMO

      • I’d agree if I heard about a deal that involves them moving Dino to create the cap space needed to make that move. Been silent considering all the other noise going on today.

  2. There’s no way Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant sign with the Knicks. I’ll say it again it ain’t happening. No way at all zero chance.

    • C-Daddy

      Especially with Durant being out for the entire year. There’s no way Kawhi wastes a year of his career playing with the Knicks’ current roster.

  3. Berman to the rescue, to help sort out the confusion of the day before FA opens.

    Has KL even agreed to meet with the Knicks yet?

    • Rocket32

      I’m sure it wasn’t based entirely on that, but yes, family does factor in to players FA decisions. There’s more reason then that not to go to New York. If he goes to the Knicks it’s far from guaranteed another star joins him at this point. He’s probably tired of losing and doesn’t want to waste more of his career playing for another loser like the Hornets.

  4. formerlyz

    The Knicks should try to keep Noah Vonleh and sign Marcus Morris/Jamychal Green/Wilson Chandler, Danny Green/Jeremy Lamb/Demarre Carroll/Garret Temple at 1-2 year deals and keep their cap space for a better opportunity

    Pretty much the idea would be to develop the young core guys and give them a chance to evolve. You also want young guys building good habits, and having 1-2 veterans that fit and know how to play can be important in development, as is learning how to win. I would assume they would still likely be in pretty nice draft position to add to that, and then it makes sense to add to that in FA or through trade. The Knicks always try to skip steps. Using their cap space before they should, and on the wrong guys, seems like such a Knicks move. Figure out what you have first

    If they do get KD and/or Kawhi, great for them. I just dont expect it, and would wonder what they would decide to do around them, with the young players they currently have being questionable fits with those guys

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