As is tradition in every off-season when there is a chance to snatch a prize pig, Knicks fans have once again worked themselves into a blustering lather over the potential to lure a big name to The Big Apple, this time it's Kevin Durant (Does anyone who's not a black and white film character call NYC that anymore? Do they picture Phil Jackson telling KD "Hey stick with me kid, i'll make ya a star! Ya name up in lights, Times Square, Madison Square Garden, this is New York bay bee! And if I can make it heeeeeeere..." etc.)
And once again we will end up disappointed. Not because we were ever serious contenders in the KD sweepstakes, but because trash journalism based on unfounded rumours rules the roost in NY and the cavalcade of 'KD2NYC' hashtag retweets will be the dominant narrative. Never mind that NOT ONCE, EVER has Durant expressed a desire to play in New York, as Carmelo Anthony once declared, but he DID once say that he enjoyed playing with Lance Thomas, so let's keep this ridiculous notion afloat.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, most people close to Durant believe the most likely outcome will be Kevin signing a two-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, with a player option for the second year. This will enable him to have another run at the title w/ Westbrook and co. while giving him the flexibility to re-asess in 2017, when the player cap is expected to rise to $108 million.
Which would make a truckload more sense than Durant signing with New York to play with an aging star in Anthony (who plays the same position as him) and an unproven one in Porzingis. The idea of KD signing with the Knicks in 2017 is actually far more realistic: Durant himself previously described Porzingis as a 'unicorn' in reference to how unique and rare a player with his skill set is, and who knows, 'Melo's game may age like a Bordeaux red, Porzingis becomes the superstar he has shown glimpses of, and most importantly, the Knicks FO will actually have the dough to pay him.
That's another fact that gets glossed over in these discussions. If Aaron Afflalo ($8 million) or Derrick Williams ($4.6 million) pick up their player options this summer, NY won't have nearly enough money to throw at Durant and the $25 million contract he will command. This is again ignoring the more pressing problems the Knicks have, including but not limited to, the massive stink-filled hole we have at the point guard position, lack of three-point shooting and bench depth.
But if we were arguing with logic, we wouldn't be arguing. Trying to understand how so much of the online discourse believes 'KD to the 5 Boroughs' is all but a done deal is the definition of trying to find sanity in an insane action.
And it goes against everything New York have built so far with Phil Jackson at their helm. When rumours abounded that New York may take sure-things Winslow or Cauley-Stein in the 2015 draft, Jackson surprised all by taking Porzingis with the 4th pick, believing him to have the highest potential out of those remaining. The move was decried by the NY media at the time, particularly by one crying, selfie-taking deadshit 10 year-old, but it's paid some serious dividends so far. Same with the recent news that Jeff Hornacek will be the next coach of the Knicks; a move that Phil remained tight-lipped about until after the news broke.
Jackson allowed the NY media to bloviate about how he was more focused on his time off, or that he was seriously considering Rambis as his full-time head coach, because he knew that when they were inevitably proved wrong they would fall on their sword. Phil is serious about creating something new in New York, and doubly serious about neutralising any media-manufactured hysteria. And after so many years of gory, bloated contracts being offered to ehh-caliber free agents to come to New York, it's refreshing to have some measured patience at the helm of the Knicks. We may want a player like Kevin Durant but, right now at least, he's not the one we need.