Knicks Rumors: James Dolan Wasn't Prepared to Give Kevin Durant Max Contract

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 30, 2019

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 10: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors shoots the ball Toronto Raptors 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)
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The New York Knicks' start to free agency couldn't be going any worse. The team has already missed out on numerous big-name free agents, including forward Kevin Durant, who agreed to a contract with the Brooklyn Nets, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Wojnarowski reported a reason Durant may have looked past the Knicks, noting that owner James Dolan and the team "were not prepared to offer Kevin Durant a full max contract due to concerns over his recovery from the Achilles injury."

Shelburne added more remarks on ESPN's The Jump, noting that it was her understanding that the Knicks did not have a meeting scheduled with Durant.

Durant suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during the 2019 NBA Finals and is expected to miss the 2019-20 season. Still, the 30-year-old forward is a 10-time All-Star who posted 26.0 points per game last season and has led the NBA in scoring four times.

Losing out on Durant hurts enough, but seeing him go to a crosstown rival only adds salt to the wound. The Nets have added Durant, point guard Kyrie Irving and center DeAndre Jordan, per Wojnarowski, which instantly makes them Eastern Conference contenders into the 2020s.

Meanwhile, the Knicks will struggle just to make the postseason for the foreseeable future. New York did add New Orleans Pelicans power forward Julius Randle with a three-year, $63 million deal, per Wojnarowski, but it isn't moving the needle much in Las Vegas. According to B/R Betting, the Knicks had 100-1 title odds before and after the Randle acquisition.

New York's immediate future might look bleak. But on the bright side, the team has some exciting young talent led by No. 3 overall draft pick RJ Barrett, who averaged 22.6 points during his lone season at Duke. Center Mitchell Robinson also showed promise with 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 20.6 minutes per game as a rookie.

Still, this offseason was supposed to be the one that catapulted the team into title contention, and that seems unlikely after the Knicks missed out on the biggest free-agent names. As of now, 2019-20 looks like another rebuilding year.