Knicks have bad theory about missing out on Kevin Durant in free agency

first_imgStop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Knicks totally would have gotten that major free agent, but then, hey, a crazy thing happened!New York is back at it again, this time with a poor explanation of why it couldn’t land Kevin Durant in free agency last summer. The Knicks were widely viewed as the favorite to sign the 10-time All-Star, but Durant ultimately agreed to a four-year deal with the Nets, joining Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.  Oh, and there’s that little bit about the Knicks apparently not wanting to give Durant a max contract.The Knicks and owner Jim Dolan were not prepared to offer Kevin Durant a full max contract due to concerns over his recovery from the Achilles injury, league sources tell me and @wojespn. Knicks officials are in Los Angeles tonight, meeting with free agents such as Julius Randle.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 30, 2019Maybe a fully healthy NBA Finals experience would have altered Durant’s perspective. However, had he been able to finish out the series, another Warriors title could have forced Durant to reevaluate leaving Golden State. It’s impossible to say how that scenario plays out.This report comes off as another round of the Knicks trying to change their public perception. New team president Leon Rose would be wise to tell the rest of the front office to focus on taking steps to improve rather than reexamining past failures. MORE: Chris Paul addresses that fake laugh at Steve KerrSome members of the Knicks organization believe Durant would have come to Madison Square Garden if he hadn’t suffered a torn Achilles with the Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.This theory is silly, of course, and ignores both Durant’s public comments and the issues surrounding one of the NBA’s most dysfunctional franchises.”If I was leaving the Warriors, it was always going to be for the Nets,” Durant told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports in August. “They got the pieces and a creative front office. I just like what they were building.”Durant also previously said the Knicks aren’t “cool” to the younger generation of players, shutting down the idea of the Knicks hitting home runs in free agency based on prestige alone.”I didn’t grow up with the Knicks being good. Well, I remember the Knicks being in the Finals, but the kids after me didn’t see that,” Durant said during an October interview with Hot 97 in New York. “So the brand of the Knicks isn’t as cool to them as, let’s say, the Golden State Warriors or even the Lakers or the Nets now. The cool thing right now is not the Knicks.”Even putting that aside, the Nets are simply a more well-run organization than the Knicks. Brooklyn’s front office led a successful rebuild following the aftermath of a disastrous 2013 trade with the Celtics, and the Nets earned a playoff berth in 2019. They were on pace to secure the No. 7 seed in the East this season despite Durant sitting out to focus on rehabilitation and Irving missing all but 20 games with his own injury problems.The Knicks, meanwhile, haven’t reached the postseason since 2013 and have employed six different head coaches in that span (with a seventh on the horizon if they don’t extend Mike Miller). New York also lacks a rising star to build around because it traded Kristaps Porzingis in order to create the cap space to sign free agents like Durant and Irving.last_img

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