Knicks Rumors: Latest Buzz on Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan, More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

New York Knicks guard Damyean Dotson (21) guards Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Warrior won 128-100. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The New York Knicks sit in a peculiar position with NBA free agency set to open up on Sunday. 

With Anthony Davis headed to the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant out for next season, New York's plans for the 2019-20 season have changed in the last month. 

The only sure thing in terms of additional star power the Knicks have is RJ Barrett, who was selected third overall in the NBA draft June 20. 

Outside of the addition of Barrett through the draft, no one is quite sure what improvements the Knicks will make, but they will at least attempt to be a major player in the free-agent market. 


Latest Knicks Buzz

Kevin Durant

According to Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, speculation has run rampant since Durant signed his contract with Golden State that his intended destination this offseason was New York. 

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

But he also reported the Warriors star and Kyrie Irving have met twice in recent weeks to discuss their desire to play on the same team. 

Regardless of where Durant lands, his team will have to wait a year to benefit from his impact on the court. 

The situation is similar to a college player redshirting because of an injury, or sitting out a year because of a transfer. 

Of course, Durant is still one of the most coveted free agents on the market because he is one of the premier players in the league, and he could single-handedly make a difference with whichever franchise he signs for. 

If the 30-year-old signs with the Knicks, he would watch from the sidelines as the young core of Barrett, Kevin Knox and Dennis Smith Jr. form on-court chemistry in an attempt to pull the Knicks out of the Eastern Conference basement. 

Adding Durant to that group would ideally make the Knicks a contender for the 2020-21 season, but it is hard to predict what the complexion of the team and league will be in one month, let alone over a whole year. 


DeAndre Jordan

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Knicks have shown interest in re-signing DeAndre Jordan depending on how their roster shakes out. 

In the 19 games he played for the Knicks after being traded by Dallas, the 30-year-old averaged 10.9 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. 

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

From a long-term perspective, signing Jordan would shore up the frontcourt, especially if another big name like Durant comes to New York. 

An inside-outside combination of Durant and Jordan sounds intriguing in a year's time, and keeping the latter could benefit the young players on the roster since he would provide a reliable paint presence. 

The Texas A&M product has performed well in the paint for quite some time, as he has averaged a double-double in six consecutive seasons. 

At 30, he has at least a few solid years left in him, but that is exactly why he would be an intriguing piece for other teams to add. 

As Stein noted in his report, the Nets are exploring the feasibility of signing Jordan as a way to possibly entice Durant to join Irving in Brooklyn. 


Julius Randle

If the Knicks experience the worst-case scenario and miss out on Durant, they could be inclined to sign players with a lesser profile to shorter deals in order to go after big names in future free-agent markets. 

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the Knicks and Julius Randle have mutual interest. 

The 24-year-old is not the type of player the Knicks would want to land as their top signing given the high expectations set for this offseason. 

But if Durant, Jordan and other bigger names shun New York, it has to find a way to improve its roster around the core of Barrett, Knox and Smith.

Randle is coming off a season in which he averaged over 20 points per game for the first time in his career, and he shot a career high of 34.4 percent from beyond the arc. 

In the worst-case scenario for the Knicks, the Kentucky product could be a solid pickup because he would still be viewed as an upgrade to what they currently have on their roster. 

In the best-case scenario in which the Knicks land Durant, they could go after Randle and have him form chemistry with the young core in preparation for the return of the two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

Either way, he would be a nice addition to the Knicks roster if the two parties come to an agreement. 

Randle proved last season in New Orleans he can increase his production, and if he brings similar numbers to the Knicks, it would provide them, at minimum, an upgrade to what was put together for the 2018-19 season. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.