How good would the New York Knicks be with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving?
As every NBA fan knows, the New York Knicks will have enough cap space this offseason to sign two max contract players to long-term deals.
Kevin Durant, when healthy, was arguably the best player in the playoffs this year and Kyrie has had his bright spots on the biggest stage too. So, how good would the New York Knicks be next season with KD and Kyrie?
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However, considering the competition in the NBA right now, this roster maybe not good enough to win a championship. Or even to win to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The NBA has gotten better, a lot better, since KD signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2016. And the 2018-19 Knicks are not a 73-win team with three All-Stars. The Knicks with Kyrie Irving are not even close to a 73-win team. The Knicks are currently the worst team in the NBA.
If KD and Kyrie Irving sign with the Knicks this offseason, they will likely not be able to re-sign other role players to the Knicks. The Knicks also do not have elite shooters and have no supporting cast to offer KD or Kyrie Irving. Even with Kyrie and KD, the Knicks will be absent an elite supporting cast to help run their offense.
Even If the Knicks sign KD and Kyrie Irving this summer to long-term contracts, the Knicks will be far from the best team in the NBA. They will not even be heads and shoulders above the rest of the competition in the Eastern Conference.
Let’s examine their competition in the Eastern Conference
What about the Toronto Raptors? Have you seen Kawhi playing in the playoffs? The Raptors are legitimate title contenders. The Milwaukee Bucks have Giannis and maybe the greatest supporting cast in the NBA.
The Knicks with KD and Kyrie will not be good enough to beat the Bucks or Raptors. Period.
What about the Boston Celtics? The Celtics will still feature a litany of perennial all-stars even if they lose Kyrie. The Celtics will still have more than depth than the Knicks with Kyrie and KD. And as the young Celtics players develop, the Celtics could very well become one of the best teams in basketball.
If the Celtics get AD, AD in combination with the Celtics young players will make them easily better than the Knicks with KD and Kyrie Irving.
What about the Western Conference?
First, you have the Warriors. If KD leaves, the Warriors will likely re-sign Klay Thompson and will have their core three still on the roster. They would still be title contenders without KD.
And the Lakers will have 35 million in cap space to acquire more players. If Lakers get another all-star and get their act together, they could be real contenders to win a championship.
We have also seen the Clippers at their best this season. After beating the Warriors twice in the playoffs, the Clippers have demonstrated their prowess this season. And despite a turbulent season, the Clippers were able to pull off 48 wins this season without an all-star. The Clippers will have enough money this season to sign two max contract players too.
If the Clippers can sign Kawhi Leonard and add more role players to their already stack roster, they may be the best team in basketball.
The Houston Rockets, assuming they don’t do anything too rash, are still probably better than the Knicks with KD and Kyrie too.
Depending on the moves other teams make in the offseason, the New York Knicks could struggle to even to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving next season.