The possibility of Kevin Durant signing with the New York Knicks is a long shot. The team isn’t among the frontrunners to land the free agent, and it would come as a major surprise if the four-time scoring champ elected to play in the Big Apple.
While it’s highly unlikely, it remains a possibility, nonetheless. USA Today’s Sam Amick reports that the Knicks are on Durant’s radar since they traded for Derrick Rose. New York will have plenty of salary cap space to sign Durant this summer, giving him the option to play alongside Rose, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis.
Speculation that Durant might be considering the Knicks grew even more this weekend because of the time he spent in New York City. Durant and Anthony reportedly had dinner on Friday night as both are in the area to announce that they’ll be playing for Team USA at the Rio Olympics this summer.
Durant and Anthony know each other well, both hailing from the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area. The Washington Wizards were once thought to have the best chance of prying Durant away from the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the seven-time All-Star’s hometown team might be out of the running completely. Durant is not expected to meet with either the Wizards or Los Angeles Lakers as he tests the free-agent market.
Durant reportedly has meetings set with five teams outside of Oklahoma City: the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. The Knicks don’t have a meeting scheduled with Durant, and it remains unknown if they’ll get an audience with the NBA’s most sought after free agent.
Teams like the Warriors and Spurs, who won a combined 140 regular-season games in the 2015-2016 season, have obvious advantages over the Knicks. Even with Anthony on the team, New York has failed to reach the playoffs in each of the last three years in a weak Eastern Conference. Porzingis’ future is bright, but he’s just 20 years old, and Rose is no longer the player that he once was after multiple injuries.
In the end, it might not matter much who gets to meet with Durant this summer. The most likely scenario has him returning to the Thunder, who nearly upset the Warriors in the Western Conference finals. Signing a two-year contract that contains a clause giving him the option to become a free agent again next year makes the most sense, because the increasing salary cap will give Durant a chance to earn a more lucrative salary in the summer of 2017.
But Durant is at least considering making a change, and the Knicks appear to have somewhat of a shot, no matter how slim it might be.