First, there was the chance at the top pick in the NBA Draft and the hope of landing Duke phenom Zion Williamson.
In free agency, the Knicks were set up with two max-contract slots to make a run at signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The Knicks fan began to dream: Durant, Kyrie and Zion.
Unfortunately, that scenario has become nothing but another pipe dream for long-suffering New York Knickerbockers fans.
Strike 1: The Knicks miss out on the chance to get Zion Williamson.
Strike 2: The frontrunners to land Kyrie Irving appear to be the Brooklyn Nets.
Strike 3: Kevin Durant tears his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The news surrounding the Durant injury is without a doubt the most devastating of the three. The general consensus among basketball insiders was that Kevin Durant wanted to play for the New York Knicks.
Knick fans hoped that Kevin Durant wanted to be the guy to bring the franchise back to glory.
He still can, because after all, he may still very well be a free agent. However, what once appeared a sure bet is anything but these days.
Durant will likely miss the entire 2019-2020 season. And When Durant returns, will he be the same player he was prior to the injury?
The Knicks expected to be in the running to land one of the best players in the league. Now it’s a great “what if.”
That said, the Knicks should still pursue Kevin Durant. It’s worth the risk for a franchise that has been a dumpster fire for 17 years.
It would not in any way prevent the development of the team’s young talent that you will still see throughout the 2019-2020 season.
The Knicks will get themselves a very good player on Thursday night in the draft. Whether it’s R.J. Barrett or Ja Morant, it should put a smile on the face of Knick fans.
The third pick in the draft should become a legitimate building block for this franchise.
And there is a lesson to be learned for the Knicks front office from recent past history.
There is no circumstance whatsoever that the Knicks should throw big money at B-level players hoping they will perform like max players.
Do not sign a solid free agent or two to max money just because you have the cap space.
Stay the course.
Target Kevin Durant, yes, but also have an eye on developing and growing the young talent currently on your roster, especially knowing that Durant will be a non-factor next season.
Draft and develop properly, and hope he is returning to a team moving in the right direction.
For a franchise that has waited almost two decades to return to relevance, what’s another year?
Patience can be a virtue as long as you’re doing it right.
This summer will tell us if the Knicks are in the business of doing things the right way or have reverted back to old habits.
Let’s see if Scott Perry and Steve Mills are ready for the monkey wrench that the Durant injury has thrown their way.
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