Does Kevin Durant's Injury Now Make Anthony Davis the Knicks' Top Target?

June 11, 2019 - 3:25 pm

WFAN's Gregg Giannotti was "utterly sick" Tuesday morning over the Achilles injury Kevin Durant suffered Monday night, not because he cares about what it means for the Golden State Warriors' title hopes but because he envisioned Durant wearing blue and orange next season.

Durant left Game 5 of the NBA Finals with the leg injury and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday. ESPN reported that the Warriors believe the 10-time All-Star tore his Achilles tendon.

Golden State beat the Toronto Raptors 106-105 to force Game 6. The Raptors lead the series 3-2.

Durant was set to become an unrestricted free agent, and multiple reports for months ranged anywhere from saying he had real interest in signing with the Knicks to him coming to New York being a foregone conclusion.

"The second that his calf reverberated ... in slow motion, all I saw was Madison Square Garden and 17 wins again," Giannotti, a Knicks fan, said on Tuesday's "Boomer and Gio" show.

"This was the one. This was the big fish. This was the guy who was going to change everything, even more than Zion Williamson. The Knicks were rumored and at times favorites to get the best player in the NBA, and now he's not going to play next year and he may never be the same again. That guy was actually going to go to the Knicks. He was thinking about going to the Knicks. That wasn't just a rumor out there. There was some stuff there. There was some legitimate stuff there. And now that whole dream is dead."

The Knicks must now come up with a new plan, Gio said.

"You've got to start all over again," he said. "So I don't know if you want to go with some sort of combination of Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, trade for Anthony Davis or just want to forget about free agency and build it up through the (draft). Your plan now has changed. (Knicks president) Steve Mills, (general manager) Scott Perry, everything that you were waiting for -- Kevin Durant to make the decision and then you're feeling really good about him coming to the Knicks and everybody had been talking about that marriage potentially happening -- it's over. It is absolutely over. He is not going to be the same player. He's not going to even play next year. The Knicks aren't going to sign him."

The Knicks and Nets are among four teams that have been in contact with Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin about a trade for All-NBA forward Anthony Davis, according to a report Monday from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Clippers and Lakers are the other two teams that have reached out to Griffin about trading for Davis.

While at least these four teams have contacted the Pelicans about a possible trade, Davis has reportedly narrowed his focus of long-term destinations down to just the Knicks and Lakers, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Giannotti's co-host, Boomer Esiason, raised the possibility of the Knicks still trying to sign Durant, who could exercise his $31.5 million option to stay with the Warriors for next season, despite the injury. Giannotti said that would be a "bad move."

"The Kevin Durant-to-the-Knicks thing ended last night. It's over," Gio said. "And if they end up signing him, I think that's asinine.

"I think I'd be more upset if they signed him now than if they lost out on him in the beginning. I think you sign a Kevin Durant, you're setting your franchise back."

To listen to the open from Tuesday's "Boomer and Gio" show, click on the audio player above.

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