Rumors of Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant heading to the New York Knicks this upcoming summer have only gotten stronger over the past week.
With the possibility of Durant opting out of his contract after this season to explore free agency, Monday night saw the first real evidence of a fracture between the 30-year-old and his teammates.
In the final seconds of regulation in what would become a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Draymond Green refused to pass the ball to Durant, who was calling for the ball to facilitate the offense and get a look at a final shot.
What ensued was a heated exchange on the bench that saw Green reportedly challenge Durant about his impending free agency, according to the Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Durant was even caught by television camera’s saying “that’s why I’m out,” to Green during the argument.
The Warriors overwhelmingly sided with Durant, in what could be an attempt to appease him, suspending Green without pay for Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.
While the organization might be trying to get back into Durant’s good graces in an attempt to keep him on board next year and beyond, that feeling isn’t necessarily extending into the Warriors’ locker room.
An anonymous player told Marcus Thompson of the Athletic that “there is already no way,” that Durant decides to re-sign with the Warriors.
That might throw a serious roadblock in Golden State’s plan of continuing their dominant dynasty, but it is great news for Knicks fans.
Durant has been linked to the Knicks since this summer, a move offering an opportunity for the two-time Finals MVP to restore his image.
Going to the Knicks and helping a mediocre franchise win a championship would show the NBA world that Durant could be the main man of a franchise and not just a supporting member of a super team.
The Knicks have two max-salary roster spots available in the summer of 2019 where they will be heavy contenders for big names like Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard.
Durant though has reportedly already shown an affinity for New York and the Knicks, though.
“The New York Knicks have a very good shot at luring KD away from the Bay Area,” ESPN’s Chris B. Haynes said in October. “The same allure that LeBron [James] had towards the Los Angeles Lakers, just the building, the culture, is the same way I know that KD feels about the Knicks.”
The more Durant bickers and argues with his Warriors teammates, the more Knicks fans will believe the superstar lands in Madison Square Garden come 2019.