The Knicks dodged a bullet… potentially.
Hear me out…
Yeah, the Knicks could have potentially struck out BIG TIME this off-season by not signing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Two guys who are arguably the best players in the NBA right now. I could already see the posts. I can already hear the people crying out, “the Knicks suck.” However, this could be a HUGE break for this Knicks who have made so many bad decisions in the past.
Kyrie is, hands down, one of the best guards in the game today. He’s a dynamic scorer, who can do so much, especially off the dribble. A superstar… who’s also VERY injury prone. I never like to hold things like that against players, but the fact is, when you’re potentially going to give someone a “max contract” deal, injuries play a huge factor in whether to sign that player or not. I’m not saying he can’t bounce back and remain healthy for the remainder of, at least this upcoming contract, but that’s a gamble.
Then there’s Kevin Durant, who in many people’s eyes, may be a better basketball player than LeBron James. Throughout his career, he’s been dominant and continued to get better. Many argued with his decision to sign with Golden State a few years ago… a team who beat him and the Thunder in the playoffs the year prior. Despite that, he never took a backseat. He remained dominant and turned up his game when his number was called. But have we seriously forgot that he tore his achilles just a FEW weeks ago. An injury that is not easy to come back from. I just spoke about teams gambling on Kyrie, imagine how much of a gamble a team would be taking on KD.
You have to commend James Dolan (I can’t believe I just said that)and the Knicks’ management for being weary about giving KD a “max” level contract, knowing that the risk was clearly much greater than the reward. This is a franchise that has been known for throwing money at players, who even at the time, didn’t deserve the amount of they received.
Over the passed few years, the Knicks have been a lot smarter with their young talent, actually attempting to keep them around and build a team around that core. [And before y’all go off on me… KP doesn’t count because he didn’t want to stick around, hence the trade last season.] Before any further signings, their starting line-up can possibly look something like, Dennis Smith JR (PG), RJ Barrett (SG), Kevin Knox (SF), Julius Randle (PF) and Mitchel Robinson (C), and that’s pretty promising. The most they can do now, is build on that young core and add parts where needed. The Knicks need to be smart with their money. Just because they have all that money in the world, doesn’t mean they need to overspend and overpay players for the sake of paying them.
Hindsight is 20/20, and we’ll only know the result of this year’s signings in the future. Maybe the Knicks missed out on a huge opportunity to become a legitimate, championship contending franchise. Or maybe the Knicks dodged a colossal bullet by not signing any of these guys.