Free agency is merely a fortnight away, meaning the Knicks only have a couple more weeks to finalize their offseason plans, and according to multiple reports the team may still be gung-ho on Kevin Durant, who just had surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles.
After undergoing an MRI in New York (New York, eh?), Durant on Wednesday revealed to the world via Instagram that, yup, it was what we all feared: KD tore his Achilles during that heroic performance for the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and he’s already had surgery.
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What’s good everybody I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY My road back starts now! I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way. Like I said Monday, I'm hurting deeply, but I'm OK. Basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that’s what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat. Its just the way things go in this game and I'm proud that I gave it all I physically could, and I'm proud my brothers got the W. It's going to be a journey but I'm built for this. I’m a hooper I know my brothers can get this Game 6, and I will be cheering with dub nation while they do it.
The injury means Durant is unlikely to see the court next season, but because KD is so freaking good at basketball, that won’t necessarily stop teams from trying to sign him as a free agent. The Knicks are no exception, with reports on Wednesday saying the team may still make a run at the superstar.
The first report came from SNY’s Ian Begley, who wrote that “there are indeed some members of the organization who would consider offering Durant a contract this summer, per SNY sources.”
Shortly thereafter, Marc Berman of the New York Post also reported that the Knicks may still make a run at KD.
Meanwhile, per Begley, the Knicks are also apparently still planning to pursue Kawhi Leonard while simultaneously trying to figure out a way to land Anthony Davis without giving up too many assets.
“On the Davis front, some Knicks decision-makers have been adamant about not giving up a ton of significant assets -- young players or draft picks -- in a Davis trade, per SNY sources,” Begley wrote. “Some in the organization are wary, citing the way things played out for New York in the wake of the Carmelo Anthony trade, per sources.”
Speaking of Davis, ESPN’s Adrian Wojarnowski reported on Wednesday that New Orleans Pelicans are in talks with both the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers concerning potential deals for AD. The Pelicans apparently want to get a Davis deal done sooner than later.
Buried near the bottom of that report is a paragraph noting that prior to KD’s injury, Kyrie Irving “had discussed the possibility of joining [Durant] as a free agent in either New York or Brooklyn.”
The offseason was already set to be crazy, considering the Knicks have enough cap space to sign two max contracts in a summer with a remarkably talented free agent class, not to mention the fact that the team holds the third overall pick in the draft. But Durant’s situation changes things.
All year long we’ve been told that Durant was a lock to come to New York, and that he would likely bring along another superstar, but Achilles surgery is no joke. It’s the type of life event that has the potential to significantly affect how Durant sees the next stage of his career.
Bookmark KD's surgery date: June 12. All guys are built and heal different. Rudy Gay tore his Achilles and returned nine months later. DeMarcus Cousins was around 12 months. Jonas Jerebko returned in about 14 months.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 12, 2019
Perhaps KD now feels like a True Warrior and will seek to rejoin Steph Curry and Klay Thompson for further glory. Maybe he’s defiant in believing that he can come back and lead a perennial bottom feeder like the Knicks to the promised land, therefore putting a cap on an incredible career. Truth be told, right now he’s probably just still high from the drugs the doctors used to put him to sleep during surgery.
KD is one of the best and most unique players to ever do it, and we should all hope that he’s still the same basketball machine when he returns. The Knicks don’t have the luxury of waiting to see whether he returns to form, however.
The offseason is about to begin.