The New York Knicks are reportedly seeking to secure a pitch meeting with superstar forward Kevin Durant if he opts out of his contract with the Golden State Warriors to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
On Wednesday, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com reported even people around Durant aren't sure about his future and it's unclear whether he'd consider a Knicks franchise that's struggle to compete in recent years but noted "you're kidding yourselves if you don't think New York will try" to sign him.
The Knicks have failed to qualify for the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, and the 2018-19 season could present more trying times with franchise cornerstone Kristaps Porzingis facing an uncertain return date after suffering a torn ACL in February.
New York's fortunes could change next summer, though.
Along with Durant, ESPN's Ian Begley reported last week Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is expected to "give the Knicks consideration next summer if he tests free agency."
Irving and Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Jimmy Butler are also "still trying to figure out a way to play together" somewhere in the Eastern Conference, per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Knicks head coach David Fizdale isn't allowed to discuss any specific scenarios regarding players signed to other teams, but he admitted the franchise is looking toward next summer.
"For sure," Fizdale told reporters. "We knew coming into this July there wasn't a lot of money to spend. We wanted to be real strategic with who we went after and if it fit the kind of guys we wanted to have here."
He added: "And as we get our culture in place, [Porzingis] gets healthy, we start moving into next summer, I really feel like we'll have the bricks in place to make some big moves."
If the Knicks can get any two of Durant, Irving and Butler to play alongside a healthy Porzingis and promising rookie Kevin Knox, the organization's fortunes could change in a New York minute.
The front office will need to make a convincing case to sell those stars on the team's future, though.