Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
After Kevin Durant announced Wednesday afternoon that he ruptured his Achilles, the teams interested in Durant are probably asking themselves a question: Do we still pursue him in free agency?
If Durant declines his $31.5 million player option for next season, any team interested in signing him would have to be comfortable with him possibly being sidelined for the first year of his contract.
Would the Knicks, who have enough cap space to sign two max free agents, be comfortable with that scenario? We'll find out in a few weeks, but there are indeed some members of the organization who would consider offering Durant a contract this summer, per SNY sources. Durant is eligible for a four-year, $141 million max contract from New York or any other team looking to sign him away from the Warriors.
Signing Durant or any player coming off of an Achilles injury is a risky proposition, of course. But if Durant has to miss a full season to rehab his injury, the Knicks could theoretically give their young players like Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson and presumed No. 3 pick RJ Barrett a year to develop while Durant recovers from his injury.
The Knicks also plan to aggressively pursue Kawhi Leonard in free agency and have had at least one conversation with New Orleans about an Anthony Davis trade. They had also planned to pursue Kyrie Irving this summer. But teams monitoring Irving's situation remain under the impression that, if he chooses to leave Boston, the Brooklyn Nets are currently the most likely destination for Irving, per sources.
On the Davis front, some Knicks decision-makers have been adamant about not giving up a ton of significant assets -- young players or draft picks -- in a Davis trade, per SNY sources. Some in the organization are wary, citing the way things played out for New York in the wake of the Carmelo Anthony trade, per sources.
ESPN reported on Tuesday that the Lakers are the "leader in the clubhouse" for a potential Davis trade. One league source said Tuesday that Los Angeles had made progress towards completing a multi-team deal.
The Knicks had dialogue recently with at least one team in an effort to put together a multi-team deal for Davis, per sources, but it appears that they've been unwilling to offer what Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin desires in a Davis deal.