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RUMOR: Several rival teams still expect Knicks to land Kevin Durant after Kristaps Porzingis trade

When the New York Knicks surprisingly shipped off their star forward Kristaps Porzingis, many people saw it as a sign that the team had to be extremely confident that they would be signing a player like Kevin Durant in the offseason.

Now, it seems like several rival teams expect this to be the plan as well.

After Porzingis was traded on Thursday and Kyrie Irving followed that up by claiming that he doesn’t owe any team anything, the speculation of superstars finally joining the Knicks ran rampant.

According to a report by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps detailing the madness, it has been thought for “months” that Durant’s most logical destination – after Golden State, of course – would be the Knicks.

Apparently, “several rival teams” also share this view, as ESPN has reported that many teams think that the Knicks now have the best chance to land the superstar player after they shed enough money to have two max contract slots:

The idea of Durant and Irving playing together in New York had been whispered about previously. But now that the Knicks have cleared a path to signing both of them outright, it has quickly exploded into full-on speculation. It has been thought for months that Durant’s most logical destination, should he choose to leave Golden State, would be to come East and join the Knicks. Several rival teams this week said that is their full expectation — and that was before the Knicks, clearly feeling confident about their chances, used Porzingis to push all their chips to the center of the table.

Still, July is still far off, and even though the Knicks seem to be in a great spot to offer two superstar players max contracts, there is no guarantee that they’ll get anyone to sign there.

The Knicks also employed this strategy in 2010 when they tried to shed contracts in an effort to lure Lebron James into New York, but that famously backfired on them.

This time around, they lost a huge, homegrown asset in Porzingis, and the notoriously crazy fanbase will almost be demanding that they get someone in return.