The rumors about Kevin Durant moving to New York to play for the Knicks next season remain just rumors for now. However, nearly every related development seems to be pointing to the inevitability of this much-anticipated move. First off, there’s the undeniable fact that moving to New York and playing for the Knicks would allow Durant to build his own legacy, which as The Mercury News points out is not exactly what he found with the Warriors. It’s given him championship rings, but not the legacy shift which he was looking for.
Fact is, the Warriors were already a strong team before Durant joined the action. Helmed by the legendary Stephen Curry as well as other star players like Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and Klay Thompson, they were already one of the top NBA teams before Durant came along. Of course, this isn’t to discount the fact that Durant’s presence was what allowed the Warriors to consistently stay at the top. Golden State are already predicted by bwin as heavy favorites to win the Western Conference and the Championship this year. But even this honor might not be enough for the likes of Durant – who actually has what it takes to achieve GOAT status. If the Warriors succeed at securing an NBA Championship three times in a row, however, there will be no doubt that Durant will want to move to a team where he could build his own legacy, which he will have to do to escape the shadow of Curry’s own claim to GOAT status.
Apart from this, the current trade situation itself presents the Knicks with the perfect opportunity to put Durant on their roster. They recently traded their star player Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks, which will pair the former NY player with promising Mavs rookie Luka Doncic. While it’s a big sacrifice for the Knicks, it does open space in the team’s salary cap for two max-salary players.
Many are speculating that the Knicks are reserving this space not just for Durant, but also Kyrie Irving, whose thoughts on being a free agent can be summed up in his recent interview: “I don’t owe anybody (expletive).” If the Knicks manage to take advantage of this perfect situation and draft both star players, they might just make it to the finals in the near future, setting the stage for one of the most anticipated rivalries in the history of the NBA.
Meanwhile, it seems like New York fans are already more than ready for Durant to take the leap. There’s no better evidence of this than that giant Times Square billboard of Durant as a cartoon character, wearing Knicks colors and holding the Championship trophy, alongside a cartoon version of former Knicks player Kristaps Porzingis. That billboard went up just last October, and it was accompanied by the text Can you make NY sports great again? along with the hashtag #KDNY2019.
The only reason that billboard bypassed the NBA’s official ruling against teams openly petitioning players was because it was funded purely by Knicks fans. New York’s own NBA fan community pulled whatever strings were necessary to secure an expensive Manhattan ad spot – just to tell Durant that he’s more than welcome in the Big Apple.
In short, nearly everything points to Durant playing for the Knicks in 2019. Historically speaking, he’s already been through similar changes when he shifted from OKC Thunder to the Warriors, and his first return to Oklahoma City was met with a lot less negativity than he or anyone else anticipated. But while everything seems to be lining up for Durant to be wearing Knicks colors this year, only time will tell if his upcoming free agent status will result in a big, league-shifting move to New York.