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Knicks Rumors: Brooklyn Nets have a shot at Kevin Durant

Recent New York Knicks rumors involve free agent target Kevin Durant, as the Brooklyn Nets will reportedly have a shot at signing him this summer.

There are going to be plenty of New York Knicks rumors in the headlines in the coming weeks. The NBA Lottery is the first order of business for the Knicks, as they are hoping to land the No. 1 overall pick and a chance to select Duke forward Zion Williamson on May 14.

New York went 17-65, giving it the worst record in the NBA and guaranteeing itself a top-five pick. If the NBA Lottery does not go the Knicks’ way, they will then turn to free agency to turn things around.

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All of those losses can quickly be put in the rearview mirror of the organization and fans if free agency pans out as hoped. There is a lot of hope for the team, as they carved out room for not one, but two max free agent slots.

It cost them franchise building block Kristaps Porzingis, as he was used as the sweetener to move the oversized contracts of Tim Haradway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks. If they are able to sign some combination of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler in addition to the high lottery pick, it would be a worthwhile deal.

There have been reports that Durant would be leaving the Golden State Warriors this summer and heading to the Eastern Conference to join the Knicks. However, those plans, reportedly, could be changing.

According to SportsNet New York, the Knicks are going to face some competition for Durant from their crosstown rivals, the Brooklyn Nets.

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Several league sources have told SNY that top-tier free agents, including Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Tobias Harris, will at least consider Brooklyn this upcoming July when it’s time to find their next home – if they decide to leave.

“Making the playoffs definitely helped their chances,” one source said.

Brooklyn made the postseason this year for the first time since 2015. They have made a remarkable turnaround, digging out of the hole that the 2013 trade with the Boston Celtics put them in. In that trade, the Nets sent four first-round draft picks to the Celtics in a trade that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were the headliners.

Sean Marks in the front office and Kenny Atkinson on the bench as head coach have brought a new culture to Brooklyn. They have turned things around quicker than anyone could have predicted, and are now looking like a legitimate option for players in free agency.

Right now, the Nets look like a better landing spot for the Knicks. However, to have the chance at two max free agents, that could change.

To make enough room for two max free agents, Brooklyn will have to renounce the rights to restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell and trade away Allen Crabbe.

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Russell becoming an All-Star this season is a reason the Nets would become an attractive landing spot. Renouncing his rights would leave the Nets with Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen, Rodions Kurucs, Treveon Graham and Dzanan Muza.

LeVert is the draw as the highest ceiling player. In addition, he also has a close relationship with Durant.

“It’s like a big brother,” LeVert said when he was asked about his relationship with Durant. “He reached out when I was in college. Obviously, we had similar injuries and things like that and the same surgeon. He’s like a big brother… He’s obviously played on a huge stage right now repeatedly for a couple of years playing in the Finals and things like that. He gives a lot of good advice.”

Those are all legitimate reasons for Durant to consider the Nets. However, the Knicks have some intriguing young players and people that have relationships with Durant as well.

Mitchell Robinson took the NBA by storm as the second round pick showed he is already a legitimate difference maker defensively. Kevin Knox had a rough rookie season but has a high ceiling. Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr., Damyean Dotson and Allonzo Trier are more young players the Knicks are hoping develop in their second and third seasons in the league.

Like LeVert, Trier has a close relationship with Durant, who mentored Trier during his high school years.

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“We became close, yes,” Trier told The Post. “Yeah, he’s seen plenty [of my games]. I was one of the top-ranked players in the country out of high school. Just a guy being a genuine person, wanted to look out for me, wanted to get to know me and build a relationship with me. Ever since then our bond has grown and [he] became my brother.”

In addition to Trier, DeAndre Jordan, who was traded to the Knicks as part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal, is also good friends with Durant.

It was no secret that the Knicks would have competition for Durant and any of the other top-flight free agents this summer.

However, they already have the cap space to sign two max contract players, giving them a leg up on the competition as other teams, such as the Nets, would need to make more moves before having enough cap space for two.

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