The New York Knicks have struggled to become a title contender, with their last trip to the Conference Finals coming nearly two decades ago. Other big NBA markets, such as the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, and the Houston Rockets have all returned to the final four teams in the playoffs since the last time the Knicks went to the Finals.
The country’s biggest market needs to awaken from its slumber in a big way, and they may be able to win the upcoming Kevin Durant Sweepstakes if he decides to leave the Bay Area.
The Warriors currently sit .5 games ahead of the Nuggets for 1st place in the Western Conference, but a loss in the playoffs may cause Durant to look to play elsewhere for the next season, fulfilling Draymond Green’s fears.
Pairing Kevin Durant with New York Knicks big Kristaps Porzingis would confound teams with their length, shooting, and versatility. It would be a guaranteed mismatch each night, and would make Knicks basketball a must-watch for the first time since Patrick Ewing. Despite the talent around them, the two form a valuable franchise building block, and they could begin reshaping their roster to pickup players who fit around KD and Kristaps.
They would instantly become a contender in a pretty open East with the vacancy of LeBron James, and it would give fans the opportunity to see James and Durant battle in the Finals for the fourth time.
However, it is far from a forgone conclusion that KD on the Knicks would instantly propel them over other solid teams in the East, such as the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers.
There are questions about the Knicks management and leadership that could cause them to fail. Players may like the market of New York, but may balk at the idea of playing for a franchise with such dysfunction. They may also see KD’s willingness to bolt from both Golden State and Oklahoma City in such a short period of time as alarming. Could they be left behind too, and Lost in New York?