NY Knicks: Do they have a real shot at Kawhi Leonard?

Kawhi Leonard, NY Knicks (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard, NY Knicks (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

The NY Knicks are set to have the most available cap space in the league by the summer and are in a prime position to offer Kawhi Leonard a contract if he becomes available.

With that said, the 2021 NBA Free Agency market appears set to be very lackluster outside of Kawhi.

Most of the elite players that were set to become free agents in 2021 such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and  Paul George have signed extensions with their respective teams.

It’s been assumed that Kawhi would resign with his hometown Los Angeles Clippers, but recently, it’s been reported that he could sign with another team in the offseason.

According to NBA Analysis Network, Kawhi Leonard would be intrigued by signing with the Miami Heat. If Kawhi would consider signing elsewhere this summer, this begs the question, would Kawhi seriously consider the Knicks in free agency?

After all, Kawhi was scheduled to meet with the Knicks in the summer of 2019 before the Knicks front office canceled the meeting.

Should the NY Knicks try to sign Kawhi Leonard in the offseason?

It was also reported back in 2019, when Kawhi was on the Spurs, that Kawhi’s camp was pushing him to play in New York. As we can see, Kawhi has been linked to the Knicks in the past and the Knicks have become a much more respectable team since then.

As this article is being written, the Knicks currently are the 8th seed in the East. Making the playoffs would be an achievement that hasn’t been made since 2013.

Furthermore, the Knicks have a legit all-star in Julius Randle and a coach of the year candidate in Tom Thibodeau for Kawhi Leonard to play with.

The Knicks are certainly a much more attractive free-agent destination now and if Kawhi was to consider leaving the Clippers, chances are he would take the Knicks into a consideration. Many believe Kawhi will resign with the Clippers, but the next few months will definitely play a huge impact on his decision.

The Clippers already suffered an embarrassing second-round loss to the Nuggets last year even though they were favorites to win the 2020 NBA title. Another early playoff loss could lead Kawhi to believe that Paul George isn’t a good enough co-star for him to win a championship with and ultimately lead to his exit.

Of course, the Knicks will be competing with better suitors like the Miami Heat but the Knicks certainly will have a shot.

Playing in the New York market gives the Knicks incredible pull when it comes to luring free agents. It’s the reason it only took a 42 and 40 season for the Brooklyn Nets to sign two superstars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in one offseason.

It’s the reason the Knicks still get meetings with free after superstars, like LeBron in 2010, despite their futility.

Stars want to play in New York, it’s just the losing culture that turns them off. Now that the Knicks finally have put together a respectable roster, maybe this is the offseason, they finally land the Big Fish in free agency, which would be Kawhi Leonard this summer.

Next. Predicting 3 potential starting lineups for Knicks next season. dark