If Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving team up in free agency this summer, they’re shaping up to be a highly dysfunctional star duo.
By most accounts, it’s inevitable Kevin Durant will be leaving the Golden State Warriors in free agency this offseason. Kyrie Irving professed a commitment to the Boston Celtics at one point, but more recently he backpedaled and promised nothing on that front.
There has been chatter Durant and Irving will team up somewhere, as both ultimately opt-out and hit the market, with the New York Knicks at the top of the list of destinations for the duo. There aren’t two guys who seem to want to get away from playing with other stars more, so teaming up somehow serves as a solution to that.
According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, some executives and player agents are so confident Durant and Irving are coming to the Knicks that the debate between the two players now rests on a different issue.
So sure are some executives and player agents of a Durant-Irving pairing in New York that one agent told The Athletic that Durant and Irving are debating on who will sign first. Why is that important? The player that is signed second is viewed as the follower, not the leader.
Durant, a known user of a burner account on Twitter, and Irving, however sarcastically a “flat Earth” truther, are apparently concerned about the second of them to sign being perceived as the follower.
It is believed Durant will only sign with the Knicks if another top free agent joins him, which makes sense given how bad the team is. Multiple reporters have put Durant in line to land with the Knicks though, and Howard Beck of Bleacher Report specifically suggested Irving is likely to join him.
Durant is willing to leave the Warriors, in search of validation he hasn’t gotten on the NBA’s best team over the last few years. And Irving is willing to leave his own very good team in the Celtics, and one of the best coaches in the league in Brad Stevens, in pursuit of similar validation apart from LeBron James or any other star.
If they’re willing to come, the Knicks absolutely should sign both Durant and Irving to go with one of the top picks in June’s draft. But as two of the most overly sensitive stars in the NBA, Durant and Irving promise to be a beautifully dysfunctional duo in the spotlight of The Big Apple.