The New York Knicks entered the off-season with a chance to start over again with the potential to have overall No.1 draft pick and sign a pair of players at the highest level, what would enable them to immediately become one of the best, if not the best team in the Eastern Conference.
Unfortunately for fans in New York, things have not been so successful. For weeks, there were rumors Knicks were the favorite destination of Kevin Durant - but Knicks missed both Durant and Kyrie Irving, and they saw Brooklyn Nets as a potential candidate for a free agency "title". Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reports that the owner James Dolan was not willing to offer Durant the maximum contract, given his injury status.
Instead, Knicks signed Julius Randle on a three-year contract worth $63 million. Knicks still have free space for more players - but if Kawhi Leonard does not commit to playing for the Knicks, fans will probably not be satisfied. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN recorded his emotional reaction to Knicks status on Sunday, and he could barely hold it together.
“Need a few minutes to gather my composure. Somehow, some way, I’m just trying to hold it together, you know. Lifelong Knick fan. Years of mediocrity. I thought this was going to be it, at least weeks ago.
…. $70 million dollars in cap space. Porzingis gone! Porzingis can’t be gone, and we don’t get KD, and we don’t get Kyrie. No way! This can’t happen! This can’t happen! But it happened. The New York Knicks, with KD on the market, Kyrie on the market, Klay, Kemba, Jimmy Butler. They can’t get someone to come to Madison Square Garden.”
Smith couldn’t put his “level of disgust” into words.