Kristaps Porzingis’ arrival in New York Knicks has brought about a sea of change in the Big Apple. Suddenly, marquee free agents are perceiving the storied franchise as a destination-to-be.
Until this past off-season, the Knicks, just like the Los Angeles Lakers, had lost its big market cache and couldn’t attract superstars. However, all that is about to change soon, at least for the Knicks.
Porzingis is the most exciting prospect in the entire league. His incredible ability on both ends of the floor have been instrumental in New York competing for a playoff spot this season. It’s an incredible turnaround for a team that finished with a franchise worst 17-65 record last season.
Come June, there will be a number of marquee free agents lining up for maximum contracts. Be it Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside, Joakim Noah, Michael Conley Jr or Dwight Howard, the 2016 free agency class has plenty to offer. However, Kevin Durant is easily the most coveted free agent in the market.
Melo’s recruiting pitch…
A few months ago, several insiders suggested that Carmelo Anthony would leave no stone unturned when it comes to recruiting Durant. The fact that Anthony and Durant are good friends would definitely grant Phil Jackson & Co a meeting later this summer.
Of course, plenty of other teams, including the Lakers, will be vying for Durant. But sources close to New York reckon that Porzingis and Anthony have done enough for Durant to consider a move to the Knicks. Also, Durant and Knicks coach Derek Fisher are former teammates at Oklahoma City Thunder.
Could you imagine a Big Three of Kristaps Porzingis, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant? New York fans must be salivating at the possibility. If Durant agrees to go to New York, it’s almost a given that they will uproot Cleveland Cavaliers as the elite team in the East, and would have a genuine shot at winning their first NBA Championship in over 40 years.
With the salary cap set to explode, Knicks will have enough room to offer Durant a max deal. In fact, with a few sign-and-trades and salary off-loads, they can make room to sign Conley, too. Remember, Knicks still need a floor general and Conley is on the top of their desired list.
Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns are embroiled in a grueling battle for the NBA Rookie of the Year Honors. At this stage, it’s too close to call. Some reckon that Porzingis would walk away with the award since the Knicks are in playoff contention while the Timberwolves are not.