How Knicks ‘easily’ could have signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, per Jared Dudley
Jared Dudley of the Los Angeles Lakers recently spoke to Michael Lee of The Athletic about a variety of topics, and one of the more interesting items on the agenda is Dudley talking about the New York Knicks’ botched plans of signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last summer.
According to Dudley, the Knicks could have easily signed both superstars if management was competent:
“And let’s be honest, if the Knicks are run right, the Knicks get them easily. It’s not even close,” he claims. “If the Knicks are run halfway decent, they get KD and Kyrie. Like, literally had to do everything right and got them.”
Instead, Durant and Irving decided to sign with the Brooklyn Nets over the Knicks. Dudley, who played for the Nets last season, also opened up about his thoughts on the Nets firing Kenny Atkinson and how it relates to both Durant and Irving:
“So, when Kenny gets fired, you go, ‘OK, from a coaching standpoint, not having KD and Kyrie, Caris hurt 20-something games,” Dudley said. “You look at their talent level, obviously, they’re seventh seed in the East. If they had Gregg Popovich, they would’ve had a better seed. Players win. You have to have certain talent. Now, they’re thinking, it’s stylistic. The style of Kenny, does it match KD and Kyrie? And when you look at it, I can see there would’ve been some growing (pains), there would’ve been some challenges. But I just don’t know, because if you would’ve told me Steve Kerr was going to come out of the booth and go right to coaching and they’re going to win championships, we all would’ve said it’s crazy. But when you have the talented players, anything can happen. So Kenny Atkinson could’ve made it work. I just thought he deserved the chance to be able to see if he can.”
Dudley played for Atkinson last season, and it appears that the coach left quite an impression on him. Dudley is in disagreement with the decision to part ways with Atkinson, though clearly there was a lot going on in Brooklyn that led to the move.
Meanwhile, the Knicks are working on trying to improve their front office. While James Dolan is still around as owner, Leon Rose was just hired as president of basketball operations, and he’s looking to hire a new general manager.