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Report: Knicks believe Derek Fisher helps make them contender for Kevin Durant in 2016

Jun 12, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Orlando Magic Getty Images

It’s ridiculous to talk about Kevin Durant’s 2016 potential free agency at this point, we don’t know what the NBA landscape will look like at that point. We don’t know what the Thunder will look like, what the Western Conference will look like, if OKC will have won a title, if a whole lot of things.

But Durant is such a transcendent player, one who can instantly change the fortune of a franchise, that front offices around the league are calculating to have cap space and ways to entice him in two years. It’s GMs jobs to think like that.

That is one of the benefits of bringing Derek Fisher in as coach, something Marc Stein mentioned at ESPN (buried in his post about how Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James would love to play together).

The Knicks, sources say, expect to be a contender for Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant when he is projected to become a free agent in July 2016 and believe their chances will be enhanced by the presence of Fisher, one of Durant’s favorite teammates with the Thunder.

First, would Durant want to leave OKC to hear Derek Fisher’s long-winded speeches again?

Of course, the real question is will Durant (who will be 27 at the time and entering his prime) want to leave Oklahoma City in 2016? The answer very well may be no. He’s a different guy than a lot of the other top players in the league, he is not automatically drawn to the bright lights of major markets like a moth to a bug zapper. He’s happy where he is right now.

If he were to consider leaving, it would be about winning a ring — he would still have to be without one and have serious doubts it can happen in OKC. He would have to think the chances are better wherever he would go — and like LeBron, 29 other teams would find a way to make cap space for him. If he wants to go somewhere, that team will shed salary and do whatever is necessary to make it happen.

Could that be New York? Maybe. Frankly it will take a heck of a lot more than Derek Fisher, it will take Phil Jackson’s culture change in New York already showing real dividends on the court. But we are too far away to really speculate about Durant going to NYC or anywhere else. The smart bet right now is he stays put because the Thunder are already on the cusp of a title.

  1. Nadeem - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Fisher will probably not even coaching the Knicks by then. Its the Knicks we are talking about…not the San Antonio Spurs. They will find new ways to lose. On a side note, what the hell were they thinking giving a rookie coach 25 million…more money than Thibs.

  2. wend28 - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Dear god. Just. Stop. Already!

  3. burm61 - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Melo signs with the Heat for 2 years along with the other 3. All have opt out clauses in their deal after 2016. All 4 will take league minimum to sign Durant and Wade will be the 6th man for the team. I don’t believe this but I bet it’ll be a report from “sources” down the road.

    • gameisours - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:35 AM

      Isn’t Chris Paul a better fit and a friend

      • chicagosports2014 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:49 AM

        I think New York media make the team look bad, cause the rumors never happen SMH🔇🔇 🔇🔇🔇

    • bougin89 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      You forgot to add that they will all relocate to the Rockets for the league minimum and instead of playing small ball they will go with a huge lineup.

      Harden, Lebron, Durant, Bosh, Howard. Wade and Melo will come off the bench. Sources say they also plan to acquire a solid pg. Chris Paul in a sign and trade probably seems like the right fit.

      The source wanted to remain anonymous.

  4. slevy221 - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Please stop with the “sources say” BS

  5. hwatt - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    this has an outside chance of working. phil and Fish would have convince KD that their coaching would trump scott brooks’ and that their triangle would win it. He’d have to bring two other top guys with him though.

    not happening.

  6. jcmeyer10 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Sources say that James Dolan lacks a complete grasp on reality.

  7. kinggw - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    If Durant leaves the Thunder, you’d have to think the Wiz would be his primary target, not the Knicks or Lakers.

    • titansbro - Jun 12, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Dallas, isn’t he from Texas? And you know Cuban would offer him the world.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        He played college ball in Texas but he was born and raised in DC.

      • titansbro - Jun 12, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        eh, i stand corrected

  8. st7007 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    He’s coming home to DC

  9. sylpkt - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    There will not be a team set up better than the Thunder in 2016 to win multiple titles. Duncan and Ginobli will be retired (or at least 2014 versions of KG and Pierce), so the Spurs will still be good but not the machine they are today. LeBron should be at the end of his prime and who knows what his team or supporting cast would look like.
    The Thunder will have KD, Russell and Ibaka in his prime. Reggie Jackson will get his extention this summer, Steven Adams will be 2 years better (he was beastly on D and rebounding as a 20 year old rookie in the playoffs), Perkins will long have been put out to pasture (or at least toiling at the end of a bench for a lottery team). A couple of Lamb, PJIII, Robertson and 3 more first round draft picks should develop into solid role players (and I’m not ruling out Lamb still becoming really really good, he’s just 21 now)
    Point is, barring a DRose type injury, KD will look around the league and see there isn’t a better place set up for him to win titles, he’s staying in OKC.

  10. bknowledge - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    I can see KD in BK, NYC, LA. Any team that signs KD will have its pick of free agents.

    Spurs will be under the cap that year..but I hope they pursue LaMarcus Aldridge…Timmy stays with the team and is winning championships into his 40’s…

    OKC would be better off bringing Westbrook off the bench/finishing games/getting starters minutes.

    Reggie jackson


    Maximize the time Westbrook and Durant don’t share the court, and you’ll see their teammates start to emerge…

    • heat256 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      If you think Westbrook is coming off the bench, you are higher than Willie Nelson. He will demand a trade straight up if they suggested that.

  11. djshnooks - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    So, he is more loyal than Lebron?

    That’s basically what you’re saying.

  12. phillysports1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    I think he should go to the Wizards.

    • Big Ant TV - Jun 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      him and john wall would be deadly with da right pieces in DC

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 12, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        KD and Westbrook would be deadly with the right pieces in OKC

        Westbrook career PER 21.1

        PER’s last 4 seasons beginning with this season and going backwards


        John Wall carreer PER 18.3


        Westbrook CAN’T shoot but Wall is BELOW him…

        Westbrook career FG% is .433%

        Wall is at career FG% of .426%

        Per 36 min’s of court time, Westbrook scores 20.1 points to Wall’s 17.7

        KD would be getting a version of Westbrook that simply wasn’t as good as Westbrook by teaming up with John Wall…

        Westbrook is BETTER than John Wall.

        But, DC is home…

  13. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    I was shocked this wasn’t Frank Isola

    Durant could handle NY but its nothing but a pipe dream at this point

  14. Eutaw's Finest - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    KD, Wall, Beal, Gortat, NeNe in DC. If you don’t think that coming home to the District is in the back of KD’s mind you’re delusional.

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