The New York Knicks made an incredibly bold move when they decided to trade away Kristaps Porzingis, their so-called franchise cornerstone, in order to get Dennis Smith Jr, the guy they should’ve drafted in the first place, in order to basically clear a lot of cap space.
Even so, while most Knicks fans may be incredibly angry, this team would make sense in a couple of months if they use their projected 74 million dollars in cap space to finally lure a superstar to the Big Apple.
Several ballers grow up being Knicks fans, the city’s sports culture is great, and Madison Square Garden is arguably everybody’s favorite court to play on, add two max contracts to that mix and some promising prospects and they may finally be able to compete.
But, what are their real chances at landing one of the superstars that’s bound to become a free agent next season? Let’s break it down.
7. Klay Thompson – 0%
Klay Thompson has repeatedly stated that he’s comfortable with the role he has in the Golden State Warriors, and if the defending Champions offer him a max deal, he’s likely to take it without any kind of hesitation.
If the Warriors don’t offer him a max contract, though, he’s likely to join LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, so there’s none-to-zero chance he actually joins the Knicks, at least for the time being.
6. Kawhi Leonard – 5%
Everybody’s going to try and make the most of Kawhi Leonard’s sweepstakes, but the Knicks aren’t going to be a preferred destination for the Klaw. If he stays in the East, he’s not going to leave the Toronto Raptors.
Moreover, Kawhi just bought a 13.3 million dollar mansion in Southern California, and we all know his desire to play in Los Angeles. Whether he’ll be Lakers bound or join the Clippers is yet to be revealed.
5. DeMarcus Cousins – 25%
DeMarcus Cousins may be one of their options just because of the fact that they may be the only team capable of handing him a max contract offer and also try to pair him with another superstar.
Even so, Cousins has proved that he cares more about the chance to compete than the money, so he may stay put with the Warriors on a smaller deal or try and join the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
4. Jimmy Butler – 40%
Jimmy Butler has made the Philadelphia 76ers way better but there’s a feeling in the air that he’s not that comfortable, and he’s yet to commit to extending his stay at the City of Brotherly Love.
Also, Butler was rumored to join forces with Kyrie Irving and rule the Eastern Conference, and the New York Knicks are in a position to offer him more money than any other team next season while also pairing him with another star.
3. Kemba Walker – 50%
Kemba Walker was born in the Bronx, so you know he was definitely a New York Knicks fan growing up. He’s closer to signing an extension with the Charlotte Hornets, but he’s never going to compete there.
Walker has been playing the best ball of his career this season and he’d have a much bigger spotlight playing in the Big Apple, should they offer him a lot of money right away instead of playing the waiting game.
2. Kevin Durant – 60%
Kevin Durant has been closely tied with a move to the New York Knicks ever since the start of the season, and he’s already clarified that his plan is to make as much money as he can on his new deal.
Durant will have a lot of offers on his desk next season, some of them coming from the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, but there’s no telling on what a guy like him may do, as you may know by now.
1. Kyrie Irving – 70%
And as you may know by now, Kyrie Irving has been unwilling to commit to the Boston Celtics, and he was also closely tied with a move to the Knicks or Nets. If they land Butler, Irving is likely going to sign right away as well.
Kyrie wants to be an alpha dog and lead a franchise for himself. He’ll have the chance to do so at one of the biggest stages in the world. Nonetheless, the Lakers are likely going to try and convince him to join the King once again.