The New York Knicks won’t have an easy time spinning the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery into a positive. Despite technically overcoming the odds and earning the No.3 overall pick, a collective feeling of “here we go again” prevailed throughout the entire fanbase when the team failed to land the top pick and the right to take Zion Williamson.
As upsetting as Tuesday’s result might have been, the last 24 hours should actually give those who root for the Knicks some hope ahead of the most important offseason in team history. Rumors indicating Kevin Durant will sign with the beleaguered franchise this summer continue to emerge in the wake of the draft order being solidified.
Shortly before the lottery, an NBA veteran told Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd that Durant to the Knicks is 100 percent done. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor attended the lottery live in Chicago, and he reported that league executives still believe Durant is likely headed to New York. Chris Carter said on FS1’s “First Things First” Wednesday morning that he has “good word” the Knicks will get a superstar, and he believes Durant will be on the team next season.
None of that is exactly groundbreaking. It’s just more of the same with reports throughout the season indicating that Durant intends to join the Knicks.
"An NBA veteran player that's very, very connected told me 15 minutes ago: KD to the Knicks is 100% done and he's made calls to other players." — @ColinCowherd pic.twitter.com/Swrm5xdfPj
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) May 14, 2019
"I believe in what the Knicks are gonna do. I got good word they're going to have a superstar here in New York, KD's gonna be here. I believe in Fizdale, and that the organization has made that turn." — @criscarter80 pic.twitter.com/R8VfisodUk
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) May 15, 2019
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith put the odds of Durant signing with Knicks at 95 percent last week, noting that he’s been informed the two-time NBA Finals MVP could always change his mind. Smith also reported that Kyrie Irving is heavily leaning toward signing with New York.
Durant still has a lot in front of him before he has to officially make a decision about his future. The Golden State Warriors are a game up on the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals, and Durant is working toward getting back on the court as he recovers from a calf injury. He will likely miss Game 2 and possibly Game 3.
Golden State remains the heavy favorite to win the 2019 NBA Finals. Maybe a third straight championship will convince Durant to stay in the Bay Area.
Nothing seems to go right for the Knicks in the last two decades. It’s part of the reason why so many fans expect New York to blow their shot at landing arguably the NBA’s best player, despite all of the signs indicating that he’s on his way.
But there continue to be reasons for the Knicks to be cautiously optimistic about what’s to come.