Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant are reportedly talking about teaming up and the Knicks have the cap space to land both players. We know that the Knicks feel as if they're in on Durant as free agency approaches. SNY sources confirm that they expect to have an audience with Durant. As far as Leonard goes, there are people around the NBA Finals MVP who see New York as a destination for him. ESPN reported that Leonard plans to meet with the Knicks.
If the Knicks sign both of those players - or even if they strike out on them - they have their eyes on two veteran free agents. New York is expected to show interest in veteran guards George Hill and Wayne Ellington when free agency officially begins on Sunday, per SNY sources.
The Knicks are among the teams who will have interest in Reggie Bullock, per SNY sources. There is mutual interest between New York and Bullock, SNY sources say.
The Bucks are reportedly going to waive Hill, who had a strong finish to his season in Milwaukee. Knicks GM Scott Perry and Hill have a history; Perry signed Hill when he was a top executive with the Sacramento Kings in the summer of 2017 before he left Sacramento for the Knicks.
Ellington, a 6-5 shooting guard, is a career 38 percent shooter from beyond the arc. Strong shooting is not something that's overflowing on the current Knicks roster, so Ellington would be a welcome addition from that standpoint.
If they don't land Durant and Leonard or pair one of the two with Kyrie Irving, New York hopes to secure players on short-term contracts to maintain future flexibility.
It's logical to think that both Hill and Ellington could command longer-term deals from other suitors, so the Knicks will likely have competition.
New York remains highly interested in Celtics guard Terry Rozier, sources say. Rozier will become an unrestricted free agent once Boston signs Kemba Walker, which is imminent, according to ESPN. The Knicks also continue to have significant interest in young big men Julius Randle and Bobby Portis, per sources. Randle is an unrestricted free agent and Portis is restricted, so New York would need to offer him a contract of at least two seasons in length. The Knicks will have competition from multiple teams on Rozier, per sources. Sources confirm that Charlotte is among the teams expected to have interest in Rozier. The Hornets also have interest in former Knicks point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. The Charlotte Observer first reported the Hornets' expected interest in Rozier and Mudiay.
Another name to keep an eye on? James Ennis. Some in the Knicks organization are fans of Ennis and they will keep an eye on Ennis if they don't land their top targets, per sources
The Knicks will have roughly $70 million in cap space in free agency. The specific numbers of the cap next season are expected to be released soon. To create some more space, New York declined to offer a qualifying offer to big man Isaiah Hicks, making him an unrestricted free agent, per SNY sources.