Point/counterpoint: will the Knicks get Durant or Davis or anyone remotely good

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Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant (35) scores against the Miami Heat during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The possibility of the Knicks signing two max contract free agents has been dancing around Knicks fans’ heads like sugar plum fairies ever since the team shipped their bad contracts along with Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas for Wes Matthews and DeAndre Jordan’s big expiring contracts. Rumors of Kevin Durant going to New York next season have been around all season, but with the second max contract spot carved out, the possibility of adding Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, DeMarcus Cousins or any other free agent has opened up. Today, we debate over whether or not the Knicks will be able to follow through on signing two max guys.

Sean Janos

James Dolan and the New York Knicks are finally going to reward their fans for the years of suffering they’ve been through. Getting rid of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee’s contracts was imperative to the plans the Knicks have, and Porzingis was the price they had to pay. It will go down as one of the best decisions this organization has ever made. Porzingis has had a series of injuries in his young career, and history doesn’t reflect well on seven-foot-three guys with a history of lower body injuries. Add the fact that he was unhappy, and it was the ultimate win-win for the Knicks.

But regardless of these knocks against KP, the Knicks wouldn’t just trade him away without knowing for certain that Durant’s coming. The Knicks had to have heard from KD that he plans to come to New York this summer while promising him that they can pair him up with a superstar of his choosing and potentially Zion Williamson. There’s no way the Knicks gave up their franchise centerpiece without knowing that a new one is definitely on the way. They aren’t THAT poorly run… are they?

Michael Logan

In short, to answer that question, yes, the Knicks are that poorly run. I used to be one of those optimistic Knick fans who would believe the hype of signing any and all of those highly-anticipated free agents. But that never happened. LeBron James broke the hearts of Knicks fans when he decided to go to Miami, Kevin Durant decided to go to Golden State, Kyrie Irving declared he would stay in Boston, Kawhi Leonard has no intentions of coming to New York and they couldn’t even convince their own homegrown superstar to stay.

If Porzingis, who was with the team for years, decides this is a losing franchise, why should Durant and some other star believe that this team is on the cusp?

Sean Janos

New York seems like a pretty enticing situation for Durant to me. Durant went on the record with Ethan Strauss of The Athletic and said that after defeating LeBron in their first finals matchup, he thought he’d be viewed by the public as the best player in the world. However, the general consensus is that Durant had to team up with a stacked team to chase a ring and, therefore, is still no LeBron. New York is his chance to go to one of the losingest franchises in recent memory and, along with another star, bring it to a championship.

Along with enhancing his image in the public eye (which is something that is very important to @KDTrey5 along with his other accounts), the freedom that the Knicks would give Durant would entice him. The Knicks have the choice to bring Durant’s good friend DeAndre Jordan back with the team. Durant also gets to approach another free agent and recruit them to New York to win a championship with developing young players like Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr. and (dare I say) Zion Williamson. Durant, Irving and Williamson is a legitimate and deadly big three. The Knicks could even try to trade Zion for Anthony Davis, which I’m sure is a decision that they’d let Durant have some say in. Players have more power than ever in today’s NBA, and the Knicks are ready to give KD the keys.

Logan

Remember when the “Banana Boat Crew” were going to assemble in New York? Pepperidge Farms remembers. Seriously, at this point, wake me up when it happens because I think I will be asleep for a very long time. Yes, these points make sense, which is why so many fans believe it. But I do not think this is the way players think. This is a losing franchise with a loser’s mentality and the players know that. Just look at the way they treated Enes Kanter. They let him rot on the bench for over a month only to cut him after the trade deadline. It just sets a bad precedent. You know what builds a winning mentality? Winning. The Knicks haven’t done that and that is why they are losers, constantly on the outside looking in and selling fans on premises that only exist in fairy land.


Michael Logan is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at michael.logan@uconn.edu.

Sean Janos is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at sean.janos@uconn.edu.

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