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- A scenario where Kevin Durant re-signs with the Golden State Warriors and then gets traded to the New York Knicks is “being discussed,” according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
- Durant can make $57 million more by re-signing with the Warriors and doing a sign-and-trade that would prevent the Warriors from losing Durant for nothing.
- With Durant recovering from a torn Achilles that will likely keep him out for the 2019-20 season, it would be a “delayed” sign-and-trade, a rare, if not entirely new, move in the NBA.
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Kevin Durant’s massive free-agency decision is days away, and the latest reports indicate that he could attempt to make a move that pleases several parties.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on “Get Up!” on Thursday that one scenario in play for Durant is to help arrange a sign-and-trade from the Golden State Warriors to the New York Knicks.
Durant could sign a five-year $219 million deal with the Warriors this offseason, about $57 million more than any other team can offer him (plus one more year than any other teams can offer).
However, rumors all season have suggested that Durant may be leaning toward leaving the Warriors for the New York Knicks.
According to Windhorst, the three parties could work out a deal that benefits everyone: Durant gets a historic payday, the Knicks get Durant, and the Warriors avoid losing Durant for nothing.
Durant suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the NBA Finals that could sideline him for the entirety of the 2019-20 season. According to Windhorst, Durant could re-sign with the Warriors, choose to rehab elsewhere, and then eventually agree to the sign-and-trade. Windhorst called it a “delayed” sign-and-trade and said it was being discussed.
It’s unclear where Durant would rehab, and one obstacle would be the Warriors remaining committed to moving Durant to the Knicks. The ESPN analyst and former NBA player Jalen Rose said if he were Durant, he wouldn’t do a sign-and-trade.
Such a move might be unprecedented in the NBA, with an injured player commanding a max, then two teams working out a trade down the road.
The deal wouldn’t be ideal for the Knicks, who would have to give up assets – it’s unclear what the Warriors’ asking price would be – to land Durant. The Knicks fan blog Knicks Film School suggested one path for the sign-and-trade:
How a sign-“wait”-and-trade for KD could work:
1) GS signs KD for max 5 yrs
2) NYK spend below 90% min threshold since they’ll later add KD’s pro-rated 2019-20 salary
3) NYK can sign FA GSW don’t have space to sign
4) NYK trades that FA (~$10M salary filler) for KD on Jan 15
— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) June 20, 2019
The Knicks aren’t in a position to be picky. Their offseason hopes seemed to be dwindling until the recent boost they may have gotten. A report from the New York Post’s Brian Lewis indicated that the Brooklyn Nets, the favorites to sign Kyrie Irving, may not be as interested in landing Irving if Durant isn’t in tow.
Similarly, The Athletic’s Frank Isola reported that there is a belief that Durant may still choose the Knicks, even if another star doesn’t follow him. It’s possible that the Knicks remain in contention for both stars.
NBA free agency is days away, and the rumor mill is churning like never before. The resolution to the Durant free-agency saga is in sight, even if it still takes some more twists and turns.
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