The Brooklyn Nets sent shockwaves around the NBA when they signed Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan in the first day of free agency, which of course left their crosstown rivals in disrepair as the New York Knicks once again missed out on their intended target.
With that said, as it pertains to Durant the Knicks reportedly played hardball with the perennial superstar during negotiations, as it was said that team owner James Dolan “was not prepared to offer Kevin Durant a full max contract due to concerns over his recovery from the Achilles injury.”
Instead, the Knicks spent much of their cap space on a plethora of power forwards that includes Julius Randle at 3 years for $63M, who at 24-years old is coming off a career year in New Orleans where he posted 21.4 points per game last season along with 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per night. In addition to Randle, the Knicks also signed Brooklyn-native Taj Gibson (two years, $20M) and Bobby Portis (two years, $31 million), which most fans will find underwhelming after they traded Kristaps Porzingis a few months ago to attract marquee free agents.
While Durant turns 31 in September and is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season, other free agents still available such as Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard are apparently not interested in playing at Madison Square Garden.