Knicks Reportedly Canceled Meeting With Kawhi Leonard

The Knicks pulled out of a scheduled meeting with Kawhi Leonard, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Leonard agreed earlier in the week to meet with Knicks officials, but not until today after he completed sessions with the Lakers and Clippers. New York decided its chances of luring Leonard were remote without Kevin Durant and decided to call off the meeting because of “logistics.” There had been rumors that Leonard and Durant were looking to team up with the Clippers or Knicks, but those plans were scrapped when Durant committed to the Nets on Sunday.

New York’s front office didn’t want to wait for a decision from Leonard before diving into the free agent market. Berman noted that the team exhausted nearly all of its $70MM in cap space in the first 20 hours after free agency began.

The best scenario for the Knicks, he adds, would be for Leonard to sign a one-year deal with an option in Toronto and hit the market again next summer. Julius Randle is the only one of New York’s signees to get a guaranteed multi-year deal.

There’s more from New York City:

  • The Knicks plan to retain Damyean Dotson through his July 15 guarantee date, Berman adds in the same story. The second-year guard, who will earn about $1.5MM, will get increased competition for minutes from free agent additions Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington and Elfrid Payton.
  • Tim Bontemps of ESPN examines whether the Knicks did the right thing by loading up on free agents after their top targets were off the board. While they retained their financial flexibility for the future and should put a better product on the court, they also missed out on a chance to acquire assets by saving some of that cap money to facilitate deals such as the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade, the Andre Iguodala trade to the Grizzlies or the D’Angelo Russell trade to the Warriors.
  • Kevin Knox wants to prove his omission from the All-Rookie Team was a mistake, relays Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Knox collected just 22 second-team votes, well short of the amount needed to earn a spot. “Yeah, of course I deserved to make it,” he said. “But it was definitely motivation. I worked hard this summer. That was kind of a chip on my shoulder for me to work hard this summer. Definitely, it was motivation. I’m going to use it for summer. I’m going to keep using it for next year.”
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60 thoughts on “Knicks Reportedly Canceled Meeting With Kawhi Leonard

  1. Chris

    Didn’t offer KD the max. Cancelled a meeting with Kawhi. All so they could land Julius Randle?

    • jeremy

      Well what wrong with getting randle he young and had a decent season playing next time AD and holiday. They probably felt it was a risk to wait for kawhi when they didn’t have a strong shot to get him. So why try and fill out the roster with decent guys

        • jeremy

          You can say that for 3 guys yes. But maybe they feel Porter can play some center. They have a reason for each signing

        • heisenberg58

          We needed some beef up front to protect Mitch, Knox, and Barrett to an extent. Everybody pretty much plays the same position in today’s game. Whoever rebounds the ball either initiates the fast break or gets it to whomever is open in the open-court. Everyone is expected to handle and pass the rock.

        • emac22

          You should learn about basketball positions and rosters.

          Hoopsrumors.com should do a primer for knick haters who don’t seem to realize how these things work.

          A joke based on the posters ignorance isn’t very funny when you hear it 1000 times.

    • heisenberg58

      That’s right! We bad, baby. We bad mofos. So yo yass later, Kawhi. Now go back to Toronto and do the right thing, son. Maybe we talk next season when AD is a free agent?

    • dimitrios in la

      That is a misleading interpretation—one that seems causal but also provides no context.

  2. justinept

    If I’m to believe this, the Knicks didnt want to wait a week for Leonard to make a decision because it would have impacted their ability to spend on free agents. So they signed a bunch of guys to one year deals with the hope that Leonard will be back on the market next year.

    I guess this makes sense if you start with the premise that it’s the Knicks.

    • jeremy

      Or maybe they feel getting splitting the money and getting good role players to fill out the team. Instead of waiting and not get kawhi. Than signing whatever left to build a team. Was a good move maybe not. But it was a safe move

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        listen… Knicks knew they had zero chance to sign Kawhi so why waste anyone’s time. we have to abandon this idea of tanking because this past draft showed that thats no longer a guarantee to get a high pick. we were lucky to get the 3rd overall. look at Atlanta and the Cavs. Same record but they only picked at 5th, 8th and 10th slots. there’s a narrative that exists that won’t go away in one offseason. they have good chips in RJ, Knox, Robinson and Randle. they brought in a bunch of good character vets on short term deals. they aren’t tied up with a bunch of long term contracts. the only way we will attract top FA is to build a solid foundation like Brooklyn. new coaching staff and a team that csb show improvement year to year is the best way to change the narrative. we got lemons… make lemonade.

      • spinach

        Good role players are JJ Redick and Danny Green, not Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock.

    • emac22

      Are you saying that if you ran the Knicks you would have waited and then filled out your roster with what’s on the market now?

      Knowing full well he wasn’t coming?

      Get real

      • spinach

        Yes. Actually they should have waited for prices to go down and to prey on the decent guys who haven’t found deals yet. Half the guys they signed would steal be available now if not for Knicks. And available at better prices. Sign them now, sign D Green or someone to bloated one year Redick-like year.

        • 4Quarters

          What better price tho? They’re all 1-year deals except for Randle who is in his mid-20s…and that’s technically a 2-year deal.

          Everyone got a team option. Knicks can assess next year’s market & make decisions on year 2 of whichever of those contracts remain. Smart.

        • emac22

          I couldn’t disagree more. You don’t develop winners with prolonged losing and they signed the best guys they could get.

          Waiting for the dregs and leaving the kids with zero hope of competing for 82 games is just a horrible plan that I can’t imaging doing anything but prolonging the team as a media joke.

          Even signing Durant after the injury was questionable for that reason.

          they don’t need more projects and draft choices as much as they need stability, progress and a chance to win every night.

  3. KnicksFanCavsFan

    Look…. they had ZERO reasons to think Kawhi would sign so why waste anyone’s time. The best way to lure future stars is to try to put together a good team from the ground up like the Nets did. The Knicks are not devoid of talent. RJ, Knox, Randle and Robinson are all solid rooks with upside. The coaching staff is new. They can’t buy the stars they want. Stop chasing unicorns. Prove stability by being stable and Maybe… maybe..if this team can floor a solid team then perhaps we can get a star to put them over the top. We got lemons, make fuckin lemonade.

      • formerlyz

        If you can watch those guys and say they have no talent, it doesnt surprise me you dont think Kawhi Leonard is good

  4. clubberlang

    As an outsider looking in, I’m very impressed with what NYK have done this offseason. It’s not sexy but truth is, Kyrie and KD are going to be hard pressed to win a chip. They got a good pick this year to pair with Randle. Zero long term bad contracts, and everyone of those 2 year contracts they signed have the potential to be flipped at the deadline or as expiring contracts for picks. In two years the Knicks are going to be in really good shape and let’s be honest, the Nets aren’t winning a chip in the time frame. This is smart business for NY.

    • kenleyfornia2

      This is pure delusion. The Nets were able to make the playoffs and added Kyrie and will be adding KD in 1 year. The Knicks couldn’t even win 20 games and struck out in free agency. There is no way on earth the Knicks will be a better team than Brooklyn in the next 3 years. Sure they have cap room but its proven no one wants to play for that clown Dolan. Relying on the lottery isn’t even possible now as well

      • clubberlang

        I never said they would be better. They won’t be. But at least they know it and decided to kick start a rebuild the right way instead of doing what the heat did. I’m saying getting Kyrie and KD to the Knicks is a lock

        • clubberlang

          Isn’t * a lock to win a Chip. I’m just saying in two years, the next should have multiple draft picks, a bunch of Cap space, 2 solid players at least. That’s a phenomenal position for a large market team to be in and something we have not seen from the Knicks in 20 years.

        • kenleyfornia2

          But the big free agents have made it clear how much they dont want to be a Knick.

        • emac22

          The Knicks will be better next year.

          The nets may have improved their team if Durant comes back but until then it’s quite a bit worse.

          The Knicks are much better than last year having significantly upgraded over half the roster while drafting a likely star in RJ.

          Kyrie and an injured Durant were a bad long shot bet that was probably worth it for a really desperate team like the Knicks but we heard the nets were so much better it’s surprising they took the long shot bet that even the Knicks knew was too risky.

      • emac22

        They added Kyrie and subtracted Russel. that isn’t much if any gain. especially when you factor in the cost.

        They might add a diminished Durant some day. they might not. but they did use 40 mil that they invested in players last year and invested it in nothing this year and next to nothing the year after. at best!

        The team is significantly worse now that it was last year.

        Your cap situation is completely ruined for up to a decade.

        Your only hope for success is for Durant to do what pretty much no one has ever done before.

        Play mega millions.

        the odds are better and the win is more satisfying.

        • phenomenalajs

          Completely disagree. I love D’lo, but he is not the level of player Kyrie is. Yes, as a Mets’ fan, I know what it’s like to be burned by injuries, but the Nets earned the ability to take this shot at two of the top 10, if not top 5, players in the NBA. KD at 80% is better than 95% of the players in the league.
          Also, let’s not discount the power of association. Dinwiddie recruited Kyrie who recruited KD who recruited DeAndre Jordan. Kyrie may be trying to recruit VC to end his career with Nets and join the NBA’s four decade club. He may not be the same Vinsanity he was 15 years ago but he’s exactly the kind of influence you want for Allen, Kurucs, Musa, Claxton and Hands.

        • formerlyz

          You think the Nets are worse? I’m not a fan of Kyrie Irving, but I have to disagree. They replaced DeMarre Carroll with Taurean Prince, so that’s essentially a wash. They do need help defensively besides him, after losing RHJ, and Carroll, but they signed Garrett Temple and Wilson Chandler. Their young wings/4s Kurucs, Musa should develop further. I keep forgetting about Caris Levert for some reason. They have shooting that doesnt necessarily need the ball, around Kyrie. I’m not so sure about the DeAndre Jordan signing, but they should have 2 really good bigs. I would be worried about their defense at the guard spots, but I dont know how they could be “significantly” worse this year

          • D$!LLKU$H-og

            Kyrie and KD took less money to bring DeAndre along for the ride. It’s actually a wash in terms of money.

            It’s also somewhat of a good thing that KD is hurt this year otherwise that could stunt Levert. He now gets another year to be a primary option on a playoff team. He’ll be an all-star if he continues his ascending. THEN….The 2nd best player in basketball joins the team.

    • emac22

      Exactly. The Knicks are in good shape. The team is much better than people seem to realize at this point, Has all of their future picks plus other good 1st round picks and has their long term payroll set up perfectly.

      The fact that the Knicks are now smart enough to adjust course when their top target gets a major injory is good and very hard for some people to accept.

      • x%sure

        Your arguments seem to need putdowns of a team that have already done things right by your own standards expressed earlier, and now move on to the next level.

        Talk about hard for some people to accept. The Knicks are floundering with disposables and remote draft picks won’t produce a successful homegrown team for another five years.

        The Knicks did the best they could and picked quality FAs in staying above the floor. Fine. But to say they’re better off than the Nets is lame. But thanks for following up that lame “lame” post.

  5. Thronson5

    Don’t think Kawhi would’ve went there anyways so I totally understand them not pursuing and being left hanging like the Lakers. People are bashing the Knicks but they’ll have cap space going forward and the Randle signing was a great one in my opinion. Big fan of him.

  6. formerlyz

    Vonleh and Wilson Chandler signed for 1 year $4.5 million combined and the Knicks paid Bobby Portis $31 million for 2 years and Taj Gibson $20 million over 2 years. They could have got players to fill their needs and still had cap space to obtain assets through taking on salary in trades. As I’ve been saying, at least they didnt sign anyone beyond the 1-2 year deals, as I mentioned, but they were really inefficient with their money, and signed a bunch of guys that will take playing time, and touches, away from their young guys

    • jeremy

      but you forget 90% of the players sign have a one and one deal. it one full year with a 2nd year as a team option. so really if im correct randle the only one that for sure going to be there next season

    • KnicksFanCavsFan

      and deals aren’t made in a vacuum. maybe they had to overpay to get the guys they wanted. at least those deals are 1 + 1s.

      • formerlyz

        I agree that signings arent made in a vaccum, however look at the guys I’m speaking of. Some of the players I was talking about didnt sign yet, and others signed for cheap with teams that arent necessarily top tier, with the exception of maybe Garrett Temple b/c of the situation, and Chandler probably wont get as much playing time there as might be original thought, due to their young players at those positions. In my opinion, the only players on the list I mentioned that were out of reach based on what they signed for, the team they signed with, or could potentially sign for was Demarre Carroll, Jeremy Lamb, and Danny Green, and that spit was already filled by the Bullock signing anyway. They could have got the 3 total guys they needed relatively cheaply, and then used the rest of their space to gain assets or remain open for something like that, while putting a team around their young guys to give them a chance to evolve, which should be the most important thing for the Knicks

        • x%sure

          They had to spend to a floor. You can’t get there by one-zies and two-zies on a 15 man roster with youngsters. They got the best at their respective levels. After trading Zinger and not drawing a replacement it wasn’t going to be pretty, but they bought a decent ticket.

          At some point the owner needs to pony up.

          • formerlyz

            I’m aware of the salary floor. Could have still paid Randle then, but with all the sign and trades going on, they could have absorbed something, as I mentioned. Also, I’m not necessarily saying they should have definitely signed Wilson Chandler. Marcus Morris is still out there. Could have paid him, etc…

    • emac22

      So. the concept of good and bad players is simply beyond your comprehension?

      • formerlyz

        No, but the concept of letting your young guys play, and surrounding them with veterans that can elevate them, and dont need the ball, and giving most of your playing time to your building blocks to build habits is right in line with what you were saying as well, so I dont know what your level of comprehension might be…

  7. whoneedsfacts

    Knicks are the worst, but it was smart not to waste their time on KL because they would have just been waiting their time.

  8. Norm Chouinard

    The way this will payed out is exactly why the front office never should have stretched Joakim Noah’s contract which will hurt for 2 extra years.

  9. greg1

    I’m glad that the Knicks didn’t Claw chase for a week only to lose out and the market be thin. If they could have met with him Day 1, I am sure the meeting would have happened.

    I am ambivalent on the signings. I like Randle and Portis, but the balance, eh. Overpays for all of the 1+1’s, but the only way the Knicks would have gotten most of them for a smaller AAV would have to guarantee 2 or more years.

  10. Kenaut

    What if the Knicks wanted a meeting with Amare Stoudamire… I read he wanted to return to the NBA…lol

  11. bknowledge

    When the Knicks knew they weren’t signing the top free agents, why didn’t they pursue D’Angelo Russell? There’s a 23 year old all star guard in NYC and the Knicks aren’t even in the conversation to sign him?

      • cesc

        That was the funniest thing I have read in a long, looong, veeeery loooong time! HaHaHa

  12. bknowledge

    Next year, the Knicks could pretty easily be starting D’Angelo Russell, Hardaway, Barrett, KP and Mitchell. With Mudiay, Trier, Dotson, Knox, Vonleh, Ntilikina off the bench. Use the exceptions to sign a few high character veterans. With the right coach, I’d be excited to root for that team. 2 all stars under 25 in the starting line-up with the best player possibly a rookie.

    • C-Daddy

      Half the guys you mentioned aren’t on the team. What is this nonsense?

      • bknowledge

        If the Knicks planned a little differently this passed year, next year, they could be starting D’Angelo Russell, Hardaway, Barrett, KP and Mitchell. With Mudiay, Trier, Dotson, Knox, Vonleh, Ntilikina and a few high character veterans (signed via exceptions) coming off the bench. With the right coach, I’d be excited to root for that team. 2 all stars under 25 in the starting line-up with a star potential rookie

      • bknowledge

        I messed up writing my comment. I meant to preface it with, “If the Knicks planned a little differently they could easily be starting”

        • D$!LLKU$H-og

          Very True. If they kept KP’s cap hold ($16MM), and with guys like Thomas, Kanter and Mudiay for example coming off the books they would’ve had enough to offer DLo a max. Probably would’ve had to renounce Kornet and possibly Trier, or could’ve traded C. Lee’s expiring if needed.

  13. emac22

    Your abilities are far greater than mine.

    I’m still stuck with this dann linear time.

  14. This story (unlike the Knicks didn’t offer Durant story) appears true. If so, it’s more evidence (as if any more were needed) that the Stooges are amateurs. With over 70 mm in cap space, they could have easily kept a path to 32 mm through yesterday, without preventing them from getting their main targets. It’s not like they were using the space creatively to acquire assets.

    In any case, you go to the damn meeting. Riley met with Butler without any cap space. Morey was right behind waiting with the same zero cap space. You go, you sell him and his agents (who also represent others btw) on the team and your vision of it. Your narrative, not the media’s. Chances to do this (within the rules) are finite. So, you’re not getting him this year. Maybe he’ll be a FA again in the next couple of years, or even be unhappy enough to request a trade at some point. Turning down the chance to make a pitch tells KL’s camp that they were right to marginalize you, and they’ll probably do it again next time – or their agents will with another client. Maybe the Stooges know that a good presentation is beyond them, so why bother. Either way, amateur hour.

    • formerlyz

      I’m not going to lie, one thing I have to 1000% agree with you on is taking the meeting for the sake of establishing a connection. That’s similar to why teams bring in draft prospects they have no shot at as well. Adding to that, you know Kawhis uncle has been pushing Kawhi to NY for the last few years, so it is pretty dumb to not take a meeting, when you get the opportunity

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