Andre Iguodala’s not-so-subtle shade at the New York Knicks could become the offseason’s reality.
Free agency is almost here, which will finally decide if the New York Knicks will sign players like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard or Kyrie Irving. Their hopes once seemed greater, until the end of the regular season arrived, and the team finished 17-65 and did not win the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
With Irving linked to the Brooklyn Nets, Leonard’s options of returning home to Los Angeles or staying with the title-winning Toronto Raptors and Durant’s Achilles injury, the once-promising offseason could result in continuing the rebuild.
A player potentially connected to this more than anyone, Andre Iguodala, briefly spoke about his Golden State Warriors teammates entering free agency on CNBC. Promoting his book, The Sixth Man, Iguodala predicted that Durant and Klay Thompson will return to the Warriors, although he said he would support them if they left. When one of the hosts mentioned the Knicks, the three-time NBA champion lightheartedly said, “Nobody’s going to the Knicks, sorry.”
Take that for whatever it was worth, potentially as a playful shot at the Knicks, long predicted to have free agent success. Maybe Iguodala said that just to toy with Knicks fans, especially after all the Zion Williamson hoopla that resulted against their favor.
6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 30 will open free agency and if New York stands a chance at the top players. They have the money to spend, but if they can’t land Durant, Irving or Leonard, it might be an offseason of one-year contracts to consume cap space and fill the roster, before re-entering the open market in 2020.
Spending on the wrong players can place the Knicks in payroll despair for years to come, as when Phil Jackson gave Joakim Noah $71 million and the expensive offer sheet handed to Tim Hardaway Jr. in 2017. Both departed the team over the past eight months.
For Knicks fans, Iguodala’s words can’t be prophetic, but the situation may already sit outside the organization’s control, depending on if these players decided on their next location before free agency officially opens at this month’s end.