Kevin Durant will officially become a free agent on July 1 after he opts out of his final year of his contract with the Golden State Warriors. I believe he will sign with the New York Knicks this offseason.
Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher went on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on April 3 and reported Durant has already made up his mind.
“From everything I’ve heard, it’s done,” Bucher said. “Yes, he’s leaving. If he so much gets the Knicks into the Eastern Conference Finals, he will be loved like he never has been at Golden State after two championships.”
That is why back on November 12 during the team’s 126-121 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, forward Draymond Green told Durant during to leave, according to Yahoo Sports Chris Haynes.
“We don’t need you,” Green said according to Haynes sources who heard the exchange.“We won without you. Leave.”
I think Durant was already leaving before this incident because of what he has accomplished with the Warriors.
Ever since signing with them in 2016, the Warriors have won back-to-back championships and Durant has won the NBA Finals MVP both times. He has nothing else to prove. He joined the Warriors to win a championship and he has already won two.
Durant will immediately be a fan favorite in New York if he is able to lead them to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Knicks have not made it past the second round of the playoffs since 2000, according to Bleacher Report’s Kyle Newport.
Durant may leave the Warriors because their fans haven’t embraced him with their full support, according to Bucher.
“It’s not a matter of liking or appreciating what he has,” Bucher said to Cowherd. “Kevin Durant has never been fully embraced by the Warriors faithful. And has never, even from a national perspective has been given that just due that you would expect for a guy who has been the NBA Finals MVP of their last two championships. It’s still Steph’s team.”
I believe the Warriors faithful have never gotten behind Durant because the team had the best regular season in NBA history without him at 73-9, according to Land of Basketball.com. It will always be Curry’s team because the Warriors drafted him with the seventh overall pick in 2009.
Durant’s former and current teammates see him heading to Madison Square Garden this summer, according to an report from ESPN’s Ian Bagley.
“Some of Durant’s former teammates think it’s going to happen,” Begley said. “Several of his current teammates have told friends they think it’s going to happen, sources said. Just a matter of putting pen to paper, is how one agent of another top free agent in the 2019 free agent class put it.”
Even with that being said, I believe Celtics All-Star Kyrie Irving will determine if Durant joins the Knicks because of what The Athletic’s Frank Isola reported.
“The belief is that Durant will only join the Knicks if another high-level free agent agrees to sign with the Knicks as well,” Isola said. “The most likely candidate is Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, who coincidentally won a NBA championship in Cleveland as Robin to Lebron’s Batman. He could fill the same role at MSG.”
Right now, Irving is in the Eastern Conference semifinals versus the Milwaukee Bucks. The conversation about him and Durant will become the biggest talking point in basketball once the season ends.
Some do not understand why Durant would leave a great organization in the Warriors to go to a dysfunctional one in the Knicks since James Dolan became the owner of the team.
I think Durant wants to change his narrative as a player since he’s viewed by most as someone who jumped on the Warriors’ bandwagon in order to win a championship. He likely wants to show others he is capable of leading a team to a championship without multiple All-Stars around him.
The last time we saw Durant as the best player on his team was in the 2016 NBA Western Conference finals versus the Warriors, where they blew a 3-1 lead.
All signs point to Durant becoming a Knick this summer.