The hottest free agents in the NBA are coming to New York, but they won't be playing at the Garden.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The hottest free agents in the NBA are coming to New York, but they won’t be playing at Madison Square Garden.
The move has Knicks management apologizing to fans, who were practically celebrating once it became obvious the team was clearing cap space to sign the two big-name free agents this off-season.
But the Nets changed that narrative.
Durant is a two-time NBA Finals MVP, but he tore his Achilles in this year’s finals with the Golden State Warriors. He will miss all of next year, but that didn’t scare the Nets, offering a reported four-year deal worth $164 million.
Most NBA experts believe Durant will return to MVP-form once he recovers from surgery.
Kyrie Irving leaves the Boston Celtics for a four-year contract that’s reportedly worth $141 million.
While it was assumed the combo chose Brooklyn because they have more pieces to win, it might not be the only reason. Reports are surfacing that the Knicks didn’t offer Durant the max deal and he didn’t take a meeting with them.
Another addition – DeAndre Jordan is changing New York teams from the Knicks to the Nets.
“Maybe it’s an indication that bottoming out like the Knicks did last year – winning 17 games, being the worst team in the league – was not the best way to go into free agency. The Nets chose a different path. They were competitive, they were able to put together a team that was both interesting and still future-minded. The Knicks couldn’t offer that,” NBA writer Mike Vorkunov told CBS2. “I think most of all, and this is me projecting based on history, but players want to win immediately, and the Knicks couldn’t offer that to them.”
Knicks President Steve Mills released a statement, saying, “While we understand that some Knicks fans could be disappointed with tonight’s news, we continue to be upbeat and confident in our plans to rebuild the Knicks to compete for championships in the future, through the draft, targeted free agents and continuing to build around our core of young players.”
Brooklyn finished 42-40 this season and lost in the first round of the playoffs. But it’s safe to say getting these two players is a huge win.