Kevin Durant’s injury and the Knicks free agency
Kevin Durant‘s injury from the second quarter of game 5 of the NBA Finals will not only affect KD’s future and Golden State Warriors’ odds at a comeback against the Toronto Raptors but also New York Knicks’ plans for the rebuilding process via free agency.
Durant has been speculated to sign a contract with the Knicks in the summer for quite a while now and there was little to make you believe otherwise.
However, what was thought to be a suspicious slow recovery from a calf injury, proved to be something much more serious and it is now believed to be a torn Achilles.
Durant’s teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, returned earlier this year from a similar injury which needed over 12 months to recover. It is considered to be the worst possible injury in basketball and, most of the times, someone who suffered a torn Achilles, almost never returned to their full potential.
SBNation ran a story a while back about players’ recovery from these kind of injuries and noted that Cousins dropped from 25 points and 13 rebounds a game to 16 points and 12 boards. He is, however, playing on a much more solid team to his defense. Kobe Bryant, on the other hand, dropped from averaging 27,3 points on a 46% shooting to 19 points and a 37% shooting.
Whether Durant will beat the NBA odds, like Dominique Wilkins did, it’s difficult to predict, considering that he is 30 years old and this puts Knicks GM Scott Perry and president Steve Mills in a very delicate situation.
The Knicks have the available cap to sign two max contracts when the free agency starts and getting Durant as the main piece has been their do or die strategy. This summer’s free agency is an extremely attractive one with lots of caliber players available.
Kirye Irving was the other name often speculated, mostly tied to KD’s, and his current situation with the Boston Celtics is not the best. However, he appears to prefer a different destination, inclining more towards the Brooklyn Nets after they managed to clear even more cap space.
Kawhi Leonard will also be a free agent this summer but will he leave a team that he’s close to winning their first title in his first year with them? Leonard was rumored to have acquired a house in Canada which he later dismissed, saying that he hasn’t done it yet. The former Spur is actually expected to have a meeting with Scott Perry and Mills regarding this matter.
Another name that has been mentioned to have a preferred destination to New York is Anthony Davis but is the front office ready to pull the plug on Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr and their first pick (third overall) of the 2019 NBA Draft?
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