By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
A rival NBA executive reportedly informed Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck that the New York Knicks believe they can land Kevin Durant this off-season. On Thursday, the Knicks made a blockbuster deal by trading away Kristaps Porziņģis to the Dallas Mavericks.
In the move, the Knicks have cleared up to $75 million in cap space this off-season. That will allow the team to sign two max players this summer if they choose to do so.
“It means they’re pretty sure they’re getting KD,” one anonymous executive said to Beck.
The Knicks have been speculated to be a landing spot for Durant if he opts out of his contract this summer with the Golden State Warriors. Once he opts out, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.
Porziņģis — who is still rehabbing from a torn ACL injury that happened during the 2017-18 season — was traded along with Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., and cap-filler Trey Burke. In exchange, the Knicks acquired Dennis Smith Jr., along with two expiring contracts in DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews.
New York basically traded their best player for cap space.
“It’s never happened,” the executive said to Beck. “Teams have given up unprotected picks. But no one’s ever traded an established star, an established commodity, just to clear money.”