Kevin Durant to the Knicks is either absolutely positively done or a huge question mark, depending on whom you ask.
If it’s longtime NBA reporter Ric Bucher you want to believe, Durant might as well already throw on the blue and orange and move to the Big Apple.
“From everything I’ve heard, it’s done. Yes, he’s leaving … If he so much as gets (the Knicks) into the conference finals, he will be beloved there like he never has been at Golden State after two championships,” Bucher said Wednesday afternoon on “The Herd.”
This is in line with the buzz for much of the season across the NBA media landscape. The rumors only picked up momentum around the All-Star break when ESPN reported Durant was moving his entertainment company’s offices to New York City. Ethan Sherwood Strauss of The Athletic amplified the noise when he reported on the discomfort within the Warriors’ locker room about Durant’s impending departure. And of course, there was the skirmish between Durant and Draymond Green back in November that was reportedly aggravated by Durant’s one-foot-out hesitancy with regard to his status with Golden State.
However, other league executives are less absolute in their beliefs about Durant. After all, this is the guy who dragged out his last change of team throughout an entire calendar year before joining an all-time NBA powerhouse. Things change quickly. In Howard Beck’s survey of the upcoming free agent landscape at Bleacher Report this week, he wrote:
“Of course, they all might stay put. (Well, except for Durant. Virtually everyone believes he’s leaving the Warriors.) No one knows for sure. Predictions are flimsy.”
Yet the entire thrust of Beck’s piece is that the situations in Brooklyn and the Clippers are much more appealing than James Dolan’s Knicks or LeBron James’ Lakers. It’s tough to etch Durant’s intentions into stone when the franchise he is being linked to is constantly bogged down in controversy and mismanagement.
The summer of 2019 projects to be one of the most explosive in recent memory, the first true reshuffling of the NBA hierarchy since Durant joined the Warriors. There will be unexpected suitors for all the top guys, some moves that change up the calculus for one team or another, and plenty of stupidity. You can bank on that.
It seems for now, though, that while many reporters are starting to come out of the woodwork to get in front of Durant-to-the-Knicks rumors (and earlier than they did with James’ free agency last summer), nothing is solidified. Everyone’s got their own opinion.