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New York Knicks Offseason: Update on The Pursuit of Kevin Durant
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12 Jun 2019 02:51 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Golden State Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant dunks the ball. (Image Source: Getty Images)

As predicted, Golden State Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant has flown to New York, but not in the way that will get Knicks fans excited. He arrived in the Big Apple on Tuesday to undergo an MRI on his injured Achilles, according to an ESPN report.

The Warriors believe Durant suffered a torn Achilles tendon and are expected to announce the results of the MRI on Wednesday. The two-time NBA Finals MVP missed just over a month with what was labeled a calf injury, which he suffered in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Regardless of the results of the MRI, the New York Knicks are still expected to pursue Durant in free agency.

Prior to Monday night, the Knicks were considered to be the heavy favorite to land Durant as a free agent this summer. When he went down, those plans got murky, along with Durant’s future. It’s very possible, Durant could be out for the entire 2019-20 season.  

Nevertheless, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that the club still sees KD in their offseason plans, as they enter free agency with two max slots at their disposal. The belief is that a player the caliber of Durant is worth the risk.

There was some thought that Durant would consider opting in with the Warriors for the upcoming season but not so according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“Opting in, is last resort, $31.5 million for next season, that’s only if you couldn’t find any other team to commit to you on a contract,” Wojnarowski said as a guest on “Get Up” on Wednesday.

That’s because the expectation is teams like New York, as well as Golden State, will still be interested in signing the future Hall of Famer to a max deal.

Even if the Knicks still believe in Durant, the injury could diminish the desire of a second star’s eagerness to join him in New York. Who knows what Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving are thinking.  

What are New York’s other options? They presumably will still pursue a trade for Davis, which isn’t necessarily contingent on signing Durant. They could also amp up their efforts to sign Leonard, who appears to be on the cusp of winning his second NBA Finals MVP.

He’s clearly proven capable of being the No. 1 guy on a championship team and is younger than Durant. If the Knicks were able to lure Leonard, they could pair him up with Irving or Kemba Walker, while at the same time try to trade for AD.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.

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