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Kevin Durant Trade Rumors: Knicks Called About Star; NY Didn't 'Have Enough' for Nets

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 27, 2022

Kevin Durant (Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks reportedly engaged with the Brooklyn Nets in conversations about a potential blockbuster trade for Kevin Durant.

"The Knicks did make calls on Kevin Durant from what I'm told. But I think both sides were cognizant they didn't really have enough," Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported Friday on the Le Batard & Friends podcast (via HoopsHype).

Brooklyn announced Tuesday an agreement was reached for KD to rescind his trade request and remain with the franchise to open the 2022-23 NBA season.

The Knicks were far from alone in being unable to meet the Nets' asking price for the 12-time All-Star.

Just days after KD's trade request, the Minnesota Timberwolves gave up a king's ransom that included five players and four draft picks, including four first-rounders, and a possible pick swap, in order to acquire defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz.

It set the trade market for the remainder of the summer, and the Nets couldn't have dealt Durant for anything less than that package, especially since he's under contract through 2025-26 as part of a four-year, $194.2 million contract that's just getting underway.

The other factor involved is the Knicks' hesitancy with roster-altering deals, which continues to hover over the organization amid links to Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.

SNY's Ian Begley reported in July that New York's front office was concerned "there wouldn't be enough left on the roster to field a contending team" if they gave up all the assets required to acquire a high-profile player via trade.

So, while it's hard to blame the Knicks for at least checking in to see what it would take to land Durant, it's not a major surprise a deal never got close.

The four-time NBA scoring champion playing his home games at Madison Square Garden would have been quite a spectacle, though.

In 2018, while playing the season before he signed with the Nets in free agency, he drew attention with his comments about MSG.

"The Garden is like a playground with walls," Durant told reporters, likening it to playing at NYC's famed Rucker Park, and he applauded the Knicks faithful for their support of good plays, even if they're made by the opposing team: "That's pure. I like that."

Perhaps one day before the 33-year-old forward calls it a career he'll suit up for the Knicks, but for now it's back to trying to win a title alongside Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons in Brooklyn.

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