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RUMOR: DeMar DeRozan’s true level of interest in joining Knicks during free agency

Knicks, DeMar DeRozan,

The New York Knicks made some significant moves this offseason, bringing in the likes of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier while retaining their core and veteran role players. Interestingly, though, the Big Apple franchise had a bigger target heading to free agency: DeMar DeRozan.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks were really high on landing the then San Antonio Spurs swingman. In fact, DeRozan reportedly shared a mutual interest in joining the franchise before he opted to join the Chicago Bulls on a massive deal.

“Turns out, according to two NBA sources, [Knicks GM Scott] Perry was leaning toward a bolder pursuit, that of San Antonio standout swingman DeMar DeRozan. He made the All-Star Game his last three seasons in Toronto before being traded to the Spurs in 2018. DeRozan, though, would have cost more per season. According to the sources, DeRozan had sincere interest in the Knicks, but instead ended up with a generous deal in Chicago – a three-year, $85 million package. The Knicks inked Fournier for four years, $78 million (with bonuses) while retaining a team option for the final season.”

DeMar DeRozan’s addition to the Knicks would have certainly been huge since he gives the ‘Bockers another potent scorer alongside Julius Randle and RJ Barrett. His fit alongside Kemba Walker would have also been tremendous considering that the former Boston Celtics guard remains an elite playmaker.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, their pursuit fell short. There were also talks earlier in free agency that the team would only look to acquire DeRozan if they land Damian Lillard, so it could be another reason why they did not sign the 32-year-old vet.

Then again, the Knicks will be happy with their haul. While their additions are not as huge as other teams, Walker and Fournier definitely gives them a boost as they attempt to make a depper playoff run in 2022.