Will Phil Jackson end up getting the last laugh? Despite his name being tarnished and dragged through the mud like never before, the Zen Master might finally have some good fortunes ahead for the New York Knicks – even if the team fails to reach the postseason this year. And he has one man to possibly thank for all of this and that’s second-year phenom, Kristaps Porzingis.
Rival executives, agents and Western Conference scouts all were listed as sources who talked about the prospect of the Knicks landing a potential star – if the team does a few moves to create enough room to land a max contract. A list was compiled of players and one of those players could end up being Kevin Durant – who gushed over KP and reminded everyone that it was him who came up with the nickname, Unicorn.
Cap holds for both players will have a big impact on how the Knicks operate this summer. Depending on how they handle Rose and Jennings, the Knicks can have at least $24 million to spend. It would take a few minor moves to put them in position to land a max-level free agent.
Via NY Daily News:
Durant was especially effusive about Kristaps Porzingis, who he once dubbed “the Unicorn.” The nickname has caught on and was also used by Phil Jackson.
“Yeah, I take full credit for that. I’ve seen someone else use it,” Durant said. “But for a guy who can shoot the three, he’s moving really well right now. Put the ball on the floor. Get to the rim. Shoot the three. Shooting all types of shots off the catch. He’s expanding his game, man. You can really appreciate that. And he’s tough. He doesn’t back down from anybody. So you can see why he’s going to be a superstar in this league.”
If the Golden State Warriors were to fail to reach the NBA Finals, or lose again to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Dubs could actually end up losing two of their studs in Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Despite just signing with the Warriors, KD is expected to opt out. And despite the status of Curry and Durant, nearly anyone who follows hoops would tell you that those two will end up resigning with Golden State.
But remember, last year at this time, everyone was also saying that there is no chance the Warriors would end up landing Kevin Durant.
A notion that many fans still don’t undertand is that these types of perceived rumors do happen – and happen very frequently. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant, are just a few names that have switched teams over the last couple of years.
For Knicks fans, they’re hoping that they can finally enjoy the feeling of landing a top player via free agency as they have seen star player after star player pass them up since LeBron James started the trend back in 2010. The question now becomes whether KP can continue to evolve into the type of talent that will net New York a “Kevin Durant” type of talent.
If history is any indication of the future, I wouldn’t hold my breath, Knicks fans.