Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are best friends. This we know.
But how strong that friendship is might go a long way to reshaping the NBA landscape this summer.
Both Durant and Irving can decline their player options and become unrestricted free agents this summer, and rumors have swirled about the possibility to the two joining forces in New York all year.
But with Durant looking to win his third straight championship with the Warriors, and Irving seemingly in a good situation in Boston, would both stars really elect to leave those situations for the uncertainty of the Knicks?
Apparently, if you ask around the NBA, the answer is a resounding yes, according to The Athletic's Frank Isola. So much so, in fact, that executives and scouts believe there is only one question left when it comes to Durant and Irving heading to the Knicks: Who will sign first?
"The belief is that Durant will only join the Knicks if another high-level free agent agrees to sign with the Knicks as well," Isola writes. "The most likely candidate is the Celtics’ Kyrie Irving, who coincidentally won a championship in Cleveland as Robin to LeBron’s Batman. He could fill that same role at MSG. So sure are some executives and player agents of a Durant-Irving pairing in New York that one agent told The Athletic that Durant and Irving are debating on who will sign first. Why is that important? The player that is signed second is viewed as the follower, not the leader."
Alright, let's get into this.
First of all, is it likely that Durant and Irving want to play together? Of course, who wouldn't want to work with their best friend, let alone try and win a title with them? That's only human and no one could fault them for making that decision.
Now, have Durant and Irving already made up their minds to leave the Warriors and Celtics for the dysfunction of the Knicks? That seems doubtful. With the playoffs approaching, both players have their attention firmly locked on getting to the NBA Finals. While they might have an idea of what they would like to do, it seems like a longshot that their decision to join forces in the Big Apple is cemented.
Both stars will have a number of suitors this offseason, and should they choose to join the Knicks, the NBA landscape will forever be altered. But we won't know the answer until after the Warriors are done defending their crown.