In the words of ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, “what can go wrong, will go wrong”. While that phrase is most often associated with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, it now perfectly describes the current situation for the New York Knicks. They are “an accident waiting to happen”.
Smith uses those phrases to poke fun at the Cowboys inability to seal the deal or get over the hump. In the most crucial situations when their backs are against the wall, they fold. Such is the life of Knicks fans and those in the organization.
The 2019 NBA offseason is among us, and it was poised to be monumental for the Knicks. After months of deliberating how to proceed with Kristaps Porzingis’ injury, and bring in talent to help, they decided to move the All-Star to create the cap space needed for a big summer splash.
New York has agreed with Dallas on trade that includes Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., for Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan, league sources tell ESPN. Players and agents are being notified of particulars. Deal may include more draft assets.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
By creating two max free agent spots, the Knicks were finally in a position to acquire their most coveted assets, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant. With one playoff series win in two decades, the past would be the past, and they would contend again. WRONG!
Though Toronto fans reacted shockingly in the moment, Knicks fans must’ve gone dramatically silent as Durant grabbed at his lower leg after an attempted drive against Serge Ibaka. Years of wishes, months of hope and weeks of excitement washed immediately down the drain. An Achilles heel, often used to emphasize vulnerability, became the first domino to fall against the Knicks desires.
Kevin Durant appears to aggravate his calf injury and heads to the locker room early in the second quarter. pic.twitter.com/VXu3SmTS8Y
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 11, 2019
With Durant unable to compete in the Finals, coupled with a loss to the Raptors, it wouldn’t be beyond the realm of imagination that he signs long term with the Warriors. Unfinished business, maximum dollars, and job security are three of the biggest reasons he would have to re-sign.
As Durant’s near future is uncertain, so too are the players most often associated with him in free agency. Irving, whom most believed would be a package deal with Durant to either New York destination, is now appearing to have a strong mutual interest with the Brooklyn Nets. He will still perform under the bright lights of the city but may do so across the street from the Atlantic Terminal Mall.
Since the two main pieces to the puzzle were now in flux, it made things more difficult in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. Davis was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers this past Saturday, with the intent to re-sign long term. This opportunity essentially removed the Knicks from contention.
Knicks Never Made Formal Trade Offer For Anthony Davis https://t.co/wmh1Fh25bg
— RealGM (@RealGM) June 17, 2019
Although thought and direction change by the day, the facts are the facts. Anthony Davis is a Laker, Durant will miss the 2019-20 season, and Kyrie Irving hasn’t put ink to paper. Three cogs previously envisioned lighting up Madison Square Garden will not be teaming up next season. In a superstar or bust offseason, the premise of the Knicks being successful has drastically taken a hit. With respect to Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Khris Middleton, and Tobias Harris, none of them are the aforementioned. Trading away Porzingis for cap space was making a statement; one that needed to be answered. By the early tally, it appears that it won’t be. The “accident” has already happened, and Knicks fans are in for another journey.