Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Lakers veteran Jared Dudley had some interesting things to say about the Knicks, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving recently.
"Let's be honest, if the Knicks are run right, the Knicks get (Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving) easily. It's not even close," Dudley said in a recent interview with The Athletic.
"If the Knicks are run halfway decent, they get KD and Kyrie. Like, (the Nets) literally had to do everything right and they got them."
The Durant-Irving topic is probably a tired one for most Knicks fans. Durant has said on the record that he didn't give the Knicks much consideration.
But it's noteworthy that in the aftermath of free agency last summer, some people in touch with the Knicks said members of the organization expressed confidence that Durant would have signed with New York if he hadn't suffered the Achilles injury in the NBA Finals, per SNY sources.
Only Durant knows if he'd planned to sign with the Knicks before he got hurt. And, again, he's said publicly that he didn't give the Knicks much consideration.
To play out the hypothetical a bit more, if Durant had signed with the Knicks, he wasn't coming alone. So he would have had to convince Irving to sign with New York instead of Brooklyn or recruited a different star to the Garden.
Again, it's obviously all moot at this point.
Thanks in part to a strong roster and infrastructure, the Nets landed Irving and Durant. They are both under contract for three more seasons (the final is a player option). Brooklyn will likely hire a new coach this offseason and may attempt to acquire another star player via trade to supplement Irving and Durant next season. The goal in Brooklyn is an NBA championship.
If the Nets don't win a title with Durant and Irving, there will probably be some who say the Knicks were fortunate to miss out on signing both star players last summer. That ignores the idea that New York traded its most promising young player in two decades in Kristaps Porzingis to create the cap space to sign the two stars.
Regardless of how things play out for Porzingis in Dallas or Durant/Irving in Brooklyn, the thing that really matters for the Knicks moving forward is: will the franchise be in position under Leon Rose to sign the next star free agent who wants to play in New York?
It's obviously impossible to answer that question right now. Rose is well respected by teams around the league due to his work as a top player agent at CAA.
But who Rose brings in underneath him -- and how he constructs the Knick roster -- will probably be pivotal factors in the Knicks' next pursuit of top free agents.
We know that any Knicks coaching search -- assuming Mike Miller isn't retained -- was on hold as of last week. The same applied to any front office movement. The organization had put any hirings or firings on pause amid the coronavirus pandemic.
So there's so much we don't know about what the Knicks under Rose will look like.
But in addition to making the right hires, Rose will have to battle the perception that Dudley referenced -- the idea that New York hasn't been run well for much of the past two decades.
The Knicks have won only one playoff series since 2000. They've found themselves in the midst of several unflattering off-court stories in that span (Charles Oakley, the public feud between Phil Jackson-Carmelo Anthony, for example).
Because of the size of the market, New York will always be attractive to star players looking to change teams. But if they want to close the deal the next time a star free agent desires a big market, it seems like Rose & Co. will have to change the perception that Dudley referenced.