New York Knicks: Deciphering a strong superstar relationship

Kevin Durant Warriors Kyrie Irving Celtics (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kevin Durant Warriors Kyrie Irving Celtics (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant reportedly have a strong superstar relationship, and what it means for the New York Knicks.

As the offseason nears for the New York Knicks, so does the prospect of acquiring top names to reinvent their 14-61 team. Head coach David Fizdale already clamored for new players, and if he can lead one particular duo in 2019-20, a bleak situation can trend in his favor.

The Knicks have been linked to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant throughout the 2018-19 season, which is not a secret after numerous reports. However, these two are closer than ever, per Brian Windhorst’s The Hoop Collective podcast (h/t NBC Sports).

"“But let’s say they do get KD. Let’s say that KD and [Irving], and by the way, I’ve had someone reputable this week tell me their relationship is as strong as ever, that Durant and Kyrie talk every day and, if not, text every day.”"

Windhorst also discussed the scenario of potentially having Durant, Irving and Anthony Davis — who made his infamous trade request earlier this season — all join the Knicks next season.

"“Let’s say the Knicks don’t get No. 1. Let’s say the Knicks get No. 2 or No. 3,” Windhorst said. “Think about a scenario where, in the same offseason, the Knicks could get Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving because I think it’s in play. I think it’s hard to trade Zion [Williamson] even for Anthony Davis because Anthony Davis only has a one-year commitment."

Trading the No. 1 pick is a risk, with Zion Williamson likely to hear his name called first. Plus, Davis can leave after the 2019-20 season for no returning compensation.

As for the Durant-Irving pair, they can join the Knicks in free agency and consume most of their projected $70 million in cap space. However, other franchises have room to operate this summer, including the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. All are in big markets and can appeal to these players.

The other, seemingly forgotten scenario is Durant and Irving staying put. Maybe they are just great friends, and that’s it. Durant can win his third straight title in Golden State in June. Irving has a talented team around him, even if they failed to reach expectations.

Given all the noise about both players, it almost feels naive to think they return to the Warriors and Celtics, respectively, Knicks being in play or not.

For reference on Durant and Irving’s relationship, the popular video of them chatting during All-Star weekend sparked further speculation of their potential alliance and what they were discussing.

Next. 2019 NBA Mock Draft. dark

New York Knicks fans can only hope even one of them signs this summer and instantly upgrades the roster. If not, there are other big names available after July 1, but none of them have been as publicly connected as Durant and Irving. Until then, let’s see what develops for the next three months.