Chris Haynes: Knicks Have 'Very Good Shot' at Landing Kevin Durant

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 26:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)    Tim Hardaway Jr. #3 of the New York Knicks in action against Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden on February 26, 2018 in New York City. The Warriors defeated the Knicks 125-111. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Knicks reportedly have a "very good shot" of signing Kevin Durant next summer in free agency, as ESPN's Chris B. Haynes said Wednesday on FS1's Undisputed.

Durant, 30, has a $31.5 million player option for the 2019-20 season, meaning he can choose to hit free agency after this season. He'd join what is expected to a loaded free agent class that could also include Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson.

It isn't the first time Durant has been linked to the Knicks. In July, ESPN's Zach Lowe suggested that the team would make a push for Durant:

"P.S.: I get why folks mock the notion that Durant would consider the Knicks as long as James Dolan is slouching over the franchise, but you're kidding yourselves if you don't think New York will try. People who have spent years around Durant can't say for sure what he wants from the game. It's unclear if he knows. Some of those people predict, if you force them, that he will one day leave Golden State for a team that can be truly his.

"I have no idea. I do know that Rich Kleiman, Durant's business manager, is from New York. Scott Perry, New York's GM, was an executive with the Seattle SuperSonics when they drafted Durant and remains close with him."

There's enough smoke around Durant considering the Knicks, at this point, that there may just be a fire. 

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If Durant decided to make the cross-country change, it would dramatically change the Knicks. Pairing Durant with Kristaps Porzingis, Kevin Knox and perhaps another free agent like Irving or Butler would instantly put the team amongst the Eastern Conference's elite, joining teams like the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors.

Of course, Durant would have to choose to depart Golden State, where he's won two straight titles and is favored to win a third. The investment-savvy Durant would also be leaving Silicon Valley behind, perhaps a bigger factor than often mentioned. 

Suffice to say, the summer of 2019 will be fascinating, and Durant's decision will have the sort of impact around the NBA that LeBron James' decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers had this past offseason. Stay or go, Durant holds the balance of the NBA in his hands.