Regardless of Durant’s uncertain future, he is expected to miss at least next season because of his surgically repaired right Achilles tendon. Despite Thompson’s expected return with the Warriors, he will likely sit out a significant chunk to heal his left knee. “I feel positive vibes with them. That’s a given,” Iguodala said. “When we’re communicating, it’s not just on a teammate level. It’s on a friendship level and making sure we’re all good in a good place. I got good vibes with the guys.”
Ex-Knick Enes Kanter has made his prediction in the Kevin Durant saga, and it’s not one his former employers will want to hear. “If I were him, don’t get me wrong I love New York, I love the Knicks, I love the fans, MSG and everything it’s cool,” Kanter said Wednesday on the Colin Cowherd show. “But I see him going to Brooklyn with Kyrie [Irving].”
“I know KD and I know his personality and everything — the media might be a little harsh on him in New York,” Kanter said. “Because if you’re KD, you’re going to the Knicks, if you’re not winning, they’re going to blame you. I see him going to Brooklyn. I wish he goes to the Knicks, but I see him going to Brooklyn.”
Marc Stein: The Knicks are weighing the prospect of extending a considerable one-year offer to Warriors free-agent big man DeMarcus Cousins if they miss out on top target Kevin Durant, league sources say
NBA superstar Kevin Durant has wrapped up some business in Malibu, selling his oceanfront home on Broad Beach for $12.15 million. Accounting for real estate commissions and other fees, the sale comes out as a bit of a wash for the 10-time all-star. He bought the place last year for $12.05 million, The Times previously reported in April.
Frank Isola: When free agency starts the Knicks are expecting to have meetings with Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard before heading to Los Angeles to meet with what are considered second tier free agents. The countdown begins...
Durant is still considering a number of scenarios in free agency, including a return to Golden State, league sources tell ESPN. The New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers are also believed to be considerations, sources said.
The Knicks would still sign Durant as a solo act, per league source, willing to swallow another lousy season developing prospects while being opportunistic in the trade market. But the Knicks have to be nervous about the influence of Irving, who could pull Durant to Brooklyn, leaving the Knicks empty handed and the world wondering (again) why they made the Porzingis trade in the first place.
Durant, sources insist, has yet to make a final decision on where he’ll play next season. The Nets noise is legit. The Knicks still have hope, but those one-time favorites are a victim of variables. Done deals don’t exist in this league in February. Too much is still yet to happen. Something rather monumental did happen.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has declined his $31.5M player option and will become an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell ESPN. Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman are in New York, evaluating free agency options. So far, process has stayed private.
On Tuesday, ESPN's Zach Lowe asked ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski if there has been a breakdown in trust between KD and the Warriors. "If there were a breakdown in trust, you would imagine that Kevin Durant's camp and the Warriors would not be in communication. And they have been in communication," Woj said. "They have talked. "Their ability to be able to talk through whatever potential issues there are in trying to go forward, I think those lines of communication are open. Does he stay? I think that conversation has yet to really happen between Durant, Rich Kleiman, Bob Myers and the organization. "I do think there's gonna be a point here where they do talk before free agency starts. But there's no indication that they have been shunned by KD. I don't believe that's the case."
Though the Nets clearly aren’t unaware of all the drama that went down in Boston or the reputation that precedes Irving, their dream scenario remains signing both he and Kevin Durant.
Durant and Irving, league sources say, have met twice in recent weeks to discuss their desire to continue their careers on the same team, an idea forged while playing together on the U.S. national team. The first meeting took place in the Bay Area while Durant nursed a strained right calf; the second occurred in New York shortly after Durant had surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
"Whatever Kevin is planning to do," says one league executive who has known Durant since he entered the NBA, "he is going to change his mind at least 25 times before he actually does it."
Irving, meanwhile, also recently purchased a new home in South Orange, New Jersey, but league sources say he is pressing Durant to join him with the Nets and is trying to recruit Jordan as well. Durant did have his Achilles repaired by a Nets team physician, Dr. Martin O'Malley, but the New York Post's Mark Fischer quoted one of O'Malley's medical colleagues warning not to read too much into that.
The Knicks’ belief is if anyone in the league can come back from an Achilles tear, it is Durant. However, it’s not a no-brainer. “I wouldn’t do it,’’ one NBA talent evaluator said. “It may look good now, appear they had it right [he was coming] until the injury. But it’s hard to justify all that for maybe one good year. By the fourth year, I can see people wondering when will he come off the cap.”
Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers demurred when asked if he was optimistic heading into formal conversations with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson this week regarding their respective futures with the team. "We'll see," Myers said during a Monday news conference to introduce Warriors rookies Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic and Eric Paschall.
"There's no recruiting," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN recently, regarding the topic of Durant and Thompson's respective futures. "We're not doing any videos and tours of the city. Basically it's a 'We want you back and we hope you decide to come back and see what happens,' but we're at a different place now," Kerr said. "But any time you're trying to retain your own players, I think the song and dance, the pomp and circumstance is unnecessary and I actually think it's unnecessary even for other players. You just got to do what you got to do, but with our group it's just -- conversation."
Now the Nets are reportedly “gaining confidence” they can land Durant, with Kendrick Perkins flatly saying on ESPN that Brooklyn is in the driver’s seat to sign his former Thunder teammate. “I think they’re the front-runner. I absolutely do. I think the Nets are the front-runner to land KD,” Perkins said on “The Jump,” with reporter Brian Windhorst joining in and saying Perkins was not the only person involved with the NBA expressing that view.
“I’m not ruling out the Knicks, but I think the Nets are the front-runners and people are not giving them their [respect],” Perkins said. “Sources tell me the Nets are the front-runner.”
The Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and even the Los Angeles Clippers are "significant considerations" for Kevin Durant in free agency, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Durant is currently recalibrating his decision and what sitting out the 19-20 season will impact him.
"One thing I'm told is he is really focused on making his decision independently of anyone else and that includes Kyrie Irving," said Wojnarowski. "He's at a point in his career where he's going to decide really essentially on a four-year deal elsewhere or a five-year deal with Golden State, where he's going to spend the rest of his prime."
The New York Knicks have reportedly been the leaders for Durant’s services, and they’re still apparently willing to give him a four-year, $164 million max offer. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst offers up a twist. On “Get Up” this morning, he said Durant and the Golden State Warriors are discussing what essentially amounts to a “delayed sign-and-trade.”
“The Durant situation is still in flux,” Windhorst said. “One of the things being discussed right now is the Golden State Warriors would offer Kevin Durant a five-year contract, $57 million dollars extra than he could get from signing elsewhere, let him rehab, and then work with him to be traded, potentially to New York, potentially to somewhere else.”
Kevin Durant is reportedly down to deciding between the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors in free agency. "KD still has, whether it's staying in Golden State or leaving, the teams that are pursuing him, the teams that are going to pay him a max deal...essentially let him dictate the kind of contract he wants—that hasn't changed," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday. "They all just expect next year he'll be a very expensive redshirt, probably starting at around $38 million a year. "I'm told KD is doing a lot of soul-searching right now, stepping back from the injury and processing all of this. For KD, he can go back to Golden State on a five-year, $200 million-plus deal. That gives him absolute assurance coming off this Achilles injury. Maybe it gives him something else to think about staying in Golden State. But Brooklyn and the Knicks are very much in the fight."
The question is if they can’t land Durant, do they still want Irving? Especially if they have to lose D’Angelo Russell — their own 23-year-old homegrown All-Star — to get him? It’s a question that has turned into a civil war among the fan base. It also has become an internal debate the Nets are having right now. The Post has confirmed Brooklyn might have qualms about signing the enigmatic Irving if he isn’t bringing the injured Durant with him.
Sources close to both the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving believe they’re “close” to a done deal – if it’s not already done. Brooklyn’s goal is to nab Irving and pair him up with Kevin Durant, who will be sidelined for the duration of the 2019-2020 season. “Everything I’ve heard is that it’s a done deal,” one source close to both sides said about Kyrie and the Nets.
“I’m told KD is doing a lot of soul searching right now,” Woj said. “You know. stepping back from the injury. processing all of this. KD can go back to Golden State on a five year, $200 million plus deal that gives him absolute assurance that coming off his Achilles injury, that maybe gives him something else to think about, staying in Golden State, but Brooklyn and the Knicks are very much in the fight to get Kevin Durant.”
ESPN’s Jay Williams, a Durant friend and a partner with Durant’s manager Rich Kleiman on “The Boardroom’’ told The Post it’s too early for the Warriors superstar to figure out what the injury means for his free-agent future. Williams has spoken with Durant since the devastating injury. “I think Kevin right now is still trying to deal with post-surgery,’’ Williams said Tuesday at a Madison Avenue Draft event. “That’s his first and foremost thing. You do what you do to your Achilles on that stage, it takes a minute to recalibrate. You can’t just go back to business. But Kevin has to make the best decision for Kevin. I’ve told him that. Rich Kleiman has told him that.”
In the past, Williams was outspoken in wondering if the Knicks were a good fit for Zion Williamson because of owner James Dolan. But Williams, a Jersey product, declined to weigh in on Durant’s fit as a Knick. “Kevin coming back (in Game 5) shows he’s kind of like the people’s champ,’’ Williams said. “He always wants to win no matter what. He’ll sacrifice his body. I think it’s now time for Kevin to do what’s in the best interest of Kevin Durant.’’
If Green and Thompson both sign max deals in the next two summers, the Warriors will face a 2020-21 cap hit of about $110 million for Green, Thompson, and Curry alone. That’s not even including Durant, were he to stick around. The Warriors wouldn’t have anything more than draft picks and salary-cap exceptions to fill out the roster around their aging core. It’s why they’ve worked so hard to keep Durant; they’re going to face these challenges no matter what, the question is whether it happens with or without Durant, and how expensive it gets. League sources, to no surprise, expect the Warriors to offer full, five-year max contracts to both Klay and KD this summer. It would be a shocker if Thompson didn’t re-sign. As for KD, perhaps the fifth year could make him think twice about leaving considering how ruptured Achilles injuries have ruined careers before.
Lacob would have to pay a pretty penny to keep those four together. Since they were in the tax three of the past four seasons, the Warriors could have to pay the repeater tax over the next two seasons, which could induce a luxury tax bill of more than $150 million in each season—and that’s for a roster without Durant for at least a year, and little flexibility to add secondary pieces around the core. It’s unrealistic for the Warriors to keep all four players and build a deep roster that can effectively ease their load to keep them healthy deep into the postseason, which goes toward the idea that the one to go may have to be Draymond.
The Knicks, it is believed by some around the league, will continue to try to sign Durant. But the injury has at least jumbled up this offseason as of now. The executive thought Durant was going to New York before Game 5 but is no longer sure. Maybe Durant opts in for the last year on his contract at $31.5 million (The Athletic’s Warriors beat reporter Anthony Slater called this the least likely outcome). Maybe he re-signs with the Warriors at the five-year, $221 million max. Or he decides to leave anyway. The Nets and Clippers lurk as possible destinations too.
The Post reported Saturday that Draymond Green flew to New York over the weekend and was to meet with a recuperating Durant. A source said Green was visiting as “a friend’’ and not a business associate looking to convince him to return to Golden State.
While a quick survey of NBA personnel saw that it’s not a consensus view, one high-ranking executive had no qualms about offering Durant the max. “I think it’s a no-brainer,” the executive said. “It’d be one thing if he wasn’t skilled like he is. He’s one of the most skilled guys in the NBA… The guy is so fucking skilled, even if he loses a step he’ll be fine.”
Ric Bucher: “I’m told Kevin Durant is out of the hospital, moved into a hotel for the time being in the New York area and him and Kyrie have met and have continued to discuss playing together next season. KD has moved all his stuff and will spend his summer in New York… Every indication says KD is making plans to be elsewhere because obviously Kyrie will not be joining the Warriors any time soon.”
According to Ric Bucher of Fox Sports, the Durant-Irving pairing idea still has legs and New York seems to be where the landing spot will be. “I’m told Kevin Durant has moved all his stuff to New York and will spend the summer there,” Bucher said on The Herd. “He and Kyrie have met and have continued to discuss playing together… Every indication says KD is making plans to be elsewhere.”
Nick Friedell: Myers, when asked about confidence level regarding KD wanting to return. “I don’t know. Myers acknowledges “He’s been everything to us.” He remains optimistic that KD will re-sign.
Second, did this mark the end of the Warriors’ dynasty? Not only do the Warriors have questions about Thompson. Kevin Durant is recovering from a surgically repaired right Achilles tendon. The Warriors otherwise have limited purchasing power and a No. 28 pick to bolster their team. Nonetheless, Thompson said that “Klay and Kevin will both be back to wreak havoc among the league.” Thompson also added “the Warriors are far from done.” As for Durant’s free agency? “I always have faith he’ll stay. This is the second-best organization you can play for. Of course, you know what the best one is,” said Thompson who played for the Showtime Lakers and remains a radio analyst for the team’s flagship station. “Why leave a great situation like Golden State? These guys are still going to be championship contenders for years to come.”
Yossi Gozlan: Knicks exercising Trier for 2019-20 knocks down maximum cap space from $73.2M to $70.5M. Still enough to sign Irving and Durant to maximum deals. Also, pathway to sign both and trade for Anthony Davis still in play.
Durant was on the line, FaceTiming him from New York, where he's recovering from surgery on his torn Achilles. "I heard them talking," said Klay's father, Mychal Thompson, said of the conversation. "But I don't think they'd want me to divulge it." Durant was probably the only person in the world who could relate to exactly what Thompson was feeling in that moment. His dad knew to give them space. "They were encouraging each other to come back strong," Mychal Thompson said. "They got unfinished business."
The caution coming from Lacob late Thursday was unmistakable when I asked him about his confidence level when it comes to re-signing Durant. “We’ll find out,” Lacob said.
Ryan Glasspiegel: Windhorst's 'understanding' is that the Warriors still 'intend' to offer Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant five-year max deals, which would push payroll with luxury tax to about $350 million
The Golden State Warriors intend to offer five-year max contracts to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, according to Brian Windhorst on ESPN's First Take. "It is my understanding in talking to people with the Warriors organization is that their intention is to continue and offer Kevin Durant a full five-year max contract and to offer Klay a full five-year max contract," Windhorst said.
At present, the Durant situation appears to be having no bearing on Irving. As reported here last month, a Golden State source said that Irving had definitely spoken to Durant about teaming up once they became free agents. Another source in that story said the problem was that Irving wanted Brooklyn, while Durant was leaning hard to the Knicks.
Durant, Leonard and Davis are the three best players available and are the only three stars the Clippers are actively pursuing. The Clippers are firmly in contention for Leonard and/or Durant, but Durant’s torn Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night — as well as Leonard’s Finals run with the Raptors and Davis’ recently revised trade list — has somewhat clouded the offseason forecast. That is compounded by the fact that missing out on the stars they want will not force the Clippers into a reactionary decision — be it a signing or trade — this offseason, league sources told The Athletic.
Will Durant still decide to opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent? Several league sources told ESPN that they expect Durant to follow through and hit free agency, despite the long recovery time ahead of him. And if he does, will the Warriors follow through and offer him the five-year maximum contract extension worth $221 million? Will other teams offer their maximum four-year, $164 million contract?
Several league sources told ESPN that they expect the Warriors and Durant's other suitors to offer the maximum allowable contract, despite the serious injury. Which means Durant's free agency will have the same leaguewide impact it did when he chose the Warriors in 2016 and elevated a great team to a dynastic team.
Multiple league sources told Yahoo Sports that they expect the Warriors to still offer Kevin Durant a max extension, regardless of the injury. The only argument against doing so is the commitment to a player who may never be the same. Then again, the alternative is alienating Durant further by offering anything less than the full max and potentially losing him with no sufficient alternative in free agency for 2020 and beyond.
Likewise, multiple league sources also told Yahoo Sports they believe the Knicks will still offer an injured Durant a max deal when free agency opens June 30. “What you don't know is what promises have been made,” one source told Yahoo Sports. “Have the Knicks and Clippers already made such promises? If not, are they willing to get two and a half to three years out of a guy on a four-year contract? Achilles tears take a year out of you and put your other Achilles at a much greater risk.”
Of course, the hope for Durant -- and for anyone who enjoys NBA basketball -- is that the injury isn't as severe as feared. But if it is indeed a torn Achilles -- and if Durant declines his $31.5 million player option for next season -- any team interested in signing Durant 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.
League sources Tuesday made it plain: Durant’s injury, whether short-term or longer, has done little to cool the ardor of his most dogged free agent pursuers. The likelihood remains that all of the New York/L.A. teams will stay in the hunt for Durant beginning on the afternoon of June 30.
A Western Conference executive, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told The Chronicle that there should still be plenty of franchises willing to offer Durant maximum money despite the fact that he might miss all of next season. Given Durant’s generational talent, a star-hungry team could decide to direct its roster toward competing in 2020-21 when he has recovered from the Achilles injury.
Now the cursed Knicks have to contemplate a free agency that may or may not include Durant, who could opt-in to the final $31 million year of his contract with the Warriors if he’s deemed out for next season. According to a source, Durant has until the last possible day — June 29 — to make that decision. The courting begins a day earlier this year, June 30, and he still may be on crutches.
According to a source, the Warriors were going to pitch Durant on signing long term, with the understanding that if he wanted to leave at any point during his contract the team would grant him that wish. That could still be in the works even with Durant likely to sit out most if not all of next season.
Although a torn Achilles could cost Durant the entire 2019-20 season, Marks said he spoke with three teams, and all of them remain willing to pursue KD in free agency: "I said ... If you had cap space, would you go out and sign Kevin Durant knowing that he will likely be out maybe the whole year? And the resounding answer was 'yes.' Each of the teams also said that they wouldn't even put any injury language in there for maybe years three and four to protect. So, yes, there will be a marketplace for Kevin Durant this summer, either with a team for four years, $141 million dollars or even back in Golden State here."
Some of Durant’s NBA peers who are interested in his next free-agent destination wondered if he’s happy in the Bay Area and plotted how to pitch their teams to the future Hall of Famer. Durant, of course, learned of these inquiries. “I can’t be recruited,” Durant told Yahoo Sports last week. “Write that.”
Tommy Beer: Interesting insight from Chris Carter this morning on @FTFonFS1. Carter, who is very close w/ Kawhi Leonard and his camp, said that: "I believe the Knicks have a shot to land Kawhi and KD." And added that Kawhi and Durant teaming up in New York is a "real possibility."
This simple analysis brings the list down to five teams, with a nod to the possibility that the Knicks could move toward contention by acquiring an additional superstar. But would that work? NBA sources suggest you can eliminate LeBron’s Lakers and Steph’s Warriors if Durant’s goal remains to avenge his social media critics, to prove he can win on a team that he leads.
Trevor Lane: Windhorst on ESPN says that Brooklyn is hoping to bring in Kyrie and that he will help them land his friend, Kevin Durant.
According to NBA sources, Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry fully expect to get a meeting with Raptors star Kawhi Leonard and at least have a puncher’s chance despite all the Kevin Durant hoopla.
Things @stephenasmith is hearing: -Kyrie is planning on committing to the Nets -If the Warriors win the Finals, KD will leave
Kevin Durant is one of the top free agents on the market, and is expected to give the Knicks strong consideration if he decides to leave Golden State. If Durant asked Charles Barkley about signing with the Knicks as a free agent, here is what Barkley would tell him: "Well I'd say, 'Kevin you're one of the greatest players I've ever seen. You've also got some of the thinnest skin I've ever seen. I don't know if you're made for New York City," Barkley said on a conference call to promote American Century Championship golf tournament. "I think that would be the toughest aspect.
"If he's arguing with these teenagers online, he's not going to be able to deal with that New York media. He's a great person, he's a great player. I don't think he has the mental makeup to play in New York, that's just my personal opinion." The sensitivity Barkley references is a widely-held, if subjective, view of Durant, of course. The TNT analyst is likely referencing Durant's use of a burner account on social media to respond to critics and other engagement with critics on social media.
Carlos Boozer: But to help in that regard, they can have a chance to make some real noise, especially depending on what happens with the Golden State Warriors. There’s all this news about KD (Kevin Durant) and who knows what happens with Boogie (DeMarcus Cousins). I’m hearing that Klay (Thompson) might want to go to the Lakers. I don't know why they would break up, because they got a rock star thing going on over there that reminds me of the Bulls with (Michael) Jordan and (Scottie) Pippen in the '90s of going to the Finals every year, but whatever happens, if that marriage gets divorced and some of those players leave, and if any of those free agents want to come to Utah and join with Donovan Mitchell and the rest of that crew, they could really make some noise. I like that foundation, I just thought they were a player away, like an All-Star player away from being a real contender.
SNY also learned recently that the Nets would not shy away from signing Irving even if they re-sign point guard D'Angelo Russell. The ideal scenario would be to pair two max free agents, such as Kevin Durant and Irving, but sources say the Nets would be open to pairing Irving and Russell in the backcourt together.
“I feel like for the last three years everybody has taken their shots at trying to nitpick or break us down, or drive a wedge in our team chemistry and togetherness,” Curry said after his team’s practice in Oakland. “This year, it’s been amplified even more with (Durant’s) free-agency stuff. Nobody can say anything without it getting scrutinized or criticized.”
Kendrick Perkins, who was a teammate of Durant’s in Oklahoma City and played for Doc Rivers in Boston, further fueled the Durant-to-the-Clippers talk when he sat down with Kristine Leahy on her show “Fair Game.” “Don’t be surprised if K.D. signs with the Clippers,” Perkins said. “Everybody is screaming New York but do not be surprised if K.D. signs and plays for Doc. I don’t even have to recruit him. He likes the organization. He likes Doc Rivers.”
“You can see Kevin Durant going there,” Perkins said Wednesday while talking to Colin Cowherd on FS1. “They’re in L.A. He can flourish and be himself and it would be his team. I would love to see K.D. play for a coach like Doc Rivers and assistant coaches like Rex, Sam Cassel and Armond Hill. They have a great group of guys. The way Doc draws up plays with his play calling, I could just imagine the plays he would draw up for Kevin Durant.”
Kevin Durant is “100 percent undecided” on where he’s playing next, his manager @RichKleiman says at The #WSJFuture Of Everything Festival. “He really doesn’t know, and I really don’t know.”
So I checked with owner Joe Lacob via text on Tuesday afternoon, pointing out that he’s been quite clear about paying what it takes to keep this team together and asking if anything has changed or if his stance is even stronger after the Warriors’ Western Conference triumph. “The season is still ongoing,” Lacob responded. “We are not finished. I have no new ideas or data for you. We love Klay and KD and intend to attempt to re-sign them. Period. I am confident about BOTH of them. “But it is their choice to do what is best for them. They have earned that right. Our goal is to keep our team together. We are pretty good.”
As for the bigger-picture matter of Durant’s future: I am unafraid to announce, with no trace of hot-takery, that firm predictions about what Durant will do when free agency starts in 40 days are ill-advised. Within the last month, very smart and plugged-in people I have consulted say that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the Knicks to sign Durant away from Golden State. And I believe it.
Problem is, at various points during the season, I have heard trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant is already planning to join the Knicks … and then that he is likely to consider the Nets as well … and now that he is eyeing the Clippers just as intently as New York.
WSJ Sports: Kevin Durant is “100 percent undecided” on where he’s playing next, his manager @Rich Kleiman says at The #WSJFuture Of Everything Festival. “He really doesn’t know, and I really don’t know.”
Durant's manager, Rich Kleiman, told Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay that contrary to other reports the Warriors forward is "100 percent undecided" on where he is playing next year. "That is 100 percent undecided and I'm waiting on Kevin and that's the truth," he said. "I think there's a feeling this thing is like war games and everybody is playing chess years out, but when somebody gets to the level of basketball like that you can't juggle focus like that ... I think it's frustrating, honestly, at times."
For now it is all speculation, but there were anonymous whispers asking if it was true that the Knicks and Durant had already held a secret meeting, that a handshake deal was already in place and that endorsement deals were already ironed out. It wasn’t just talk about the Knicks securing the services of Durant, but that the elite scorer is bolting the Warriors despite all of the success. No one would put a name on their thoughts, but they did at least in their minds, figure out the hardest part of the Durant free agency question: why would he leave the Warriors?
The Knicks are considering packaging their No. 3 pick to New Orleans in a trade for Anthony Davis. It would seem Durant would prefer a ready-made superstar as sidekick, but who knows if he’d rather have Barrett and Kyrie Irving instead — especially considering Durant’s rave reviews of Barrett’s southpaw advantage. “Getting crafty with the left,” Durant said, watching the video on a laptop. “See lefties are tough to guard, man. They can go right better than righties can go left and so a left-hander is hard to guard. He’s a lefty that uses his right, which is gonna help him. “Shoot the J, OK. Man, he’s athletic, man. He can play out top. That’s the thing. You got to be able to play out top, conduct the offense.
Kevin Durant may be the Nets’ top target in free agency, but he’s not the only one. The feeling around the NBA is the Nets will have a very real chance to pry four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler away from Philadelphia.
August 16, 2022 | 2:22 am EDT Update
Chris Haynes: Minnesota Timberwolves star Rudy Gobert will face the Utah Jazz for the first time on Oct. 21 in Minnesota and will return to Utah for the first time as an opponent on Dec. 9, league sources tell @YahooSports.
Marc Stein: The Knicks are scheduled to be in Dallas for former Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson’s return to Big D on Dec. 27, league sources tell me, two days after New York hosts Philadelphia on Christmas. More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com
Sean Cunningham: The Sacramento Kings will be opening the 2022-23 NBA season on the home court of Golden 1 Center against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 19th, according to sources. @CarmichaelDave first to report.
Windhorst went on to say the Nets aren’t coming off asking for a big return for Durant in a trade. And that Brooklyn has no leverage with other teams, same as Durant has no leverage with the Nets. “I think what we have here is really a study of leverage. First off, the Nets do not have leverage in trade talks with other teams. They are not giving them the offers that they want. They see no reason to increase them. So, they’re not making any progress there,” said Windhorst. “Kevin Durant clearly does not have leverage with the Brooklyn Nets. He is asking for things: ‘Get me traded. Fire the coach. Fire the GM.’ He is being told no. So, when you have denied leverage, you have a stalemate.”
When it comes to Simmons, his unique skill set is incredibly enticing, but his best ability will be availability. Fortunately, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, that won’t be a problem for Simmons in 2022-23: “You and Kyrie and Ben Simmons — who, by the way, news flash here. I ran into Ben Simmons. He and I had a nice conversation … I support the brother. I had a problem with him not playing. That’s the past. He’s ready to go. He swears he’s ready to go.”