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Windhorst: Knicks 'Hoping' to Land Meetings with Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 10:  Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors defends Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Five of the NBA Finals on June 10, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

The New York Knicks are reportedly looking to land face time with Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

"They hope to get a meeting with KD and Kawhi Leonard. They want to build through the draft," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said Thursday on The Jump.

Of course, this isn't a surprise. The Knicks were linked to Durant throughout the 2018-19 season. Leonard is the reigning Finals MVP. Flush with enough cap space for two max contracts, the Knicks likely hope to get into a room with every major free agent on the market.

Whether the Knicks can land a top-flight free agent will inform their strategy for next season. They have the third pick in Thursday's draft and are widely expected to take RJ Barrett, who will team with Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr. and Mitchell Robinson to form a promising young core. Striking out on free agents would likely lead the Knicks to kick the cap space can down the road for another season, as they bottom out and hope to land a high pick in a strong 2020 draft class.

The Knicks could also do something similar if they sign Durant, who is expected to miss next season while recovering from an Achilles rupture suffered during the NBA Finals. They face two divergent planes, with the options being contentment at the top of the Eastern Conference or the continuation of a full-scale rebuild.

Leonard has had almost no links to the Knicks and seems like an unlikely fit. Odds are he will either remain in Toronto or sign with one of the two Los Angeles teams. Kawhi expressed a desire to play in Los Angeles last summer, and the Clippers and Lakers are both planning to pitch him a homecoming. The Raptors are hoping a storybook season in Toronto convinces Kawhi to stay.

Given Board Man's propensity for lacking nonsense, it may be unlikely that the Knicks even get him into a room. 

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