The New York Knicks were not prepared to offer Kevin Durant a full max contract offer, according to reports.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday that the Knicks were not going to offer Durant a full max contract over his injury.
The Knicks and owner Jim Dolan were not prepared to offer Kevin Durant a full max contract due to concerns over his recovery from the Achilles injury, league sources tell me and @wojespn. Knicks officials are in Los Angeles tonight, meeting with free agents such as Julius Randle.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 30, 2019
Knicks owner Jim Dolan wouldn’t give the best player in the NBA a full max deal. And so Durant will go to Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan. The Knicks, meanwhile, have Julius Randle and not much else. New York seemed to empty its trove of assets to clear cap space and accelerate a rebuild during this offseason. In fact, the Knicks seemed like favorites to land both Durant and Irving. Then it all fell apart. Brooklyn stole the stars away from New York, likely in large part because the Knicks wouldn’t make the proper financial commitment to Durant.
Durant’s Achilles injury comes with tremendous complications in a jumping sport for a man of his size. Durant also has his flaws and has struggled to handle external pressures from fans and media members.
Perhaps the Knicks didn’t want to get stuck with a bad contract. There’s a glimmer of logic in that statement. The Knicks have been the butt of jokes for two decades, especially when it comes to signing injury prone players. Time will tell if the Nets really pulled off a heist in acquiring Durant, or the Knicks simply for once, did the right thing.