The Knicks Are Favorites to Land KD and 16-1 to Win the 2020 NBA Title

The end of this NBA season will bring and end to the contracts of both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant and likely the demise of the Warriors’ dynasty. According to the Superbook at Westgate Las Vegas, the New York Knicks are the favorite to land KD next season. Because of this and ONLY because of this, the Knicks are the seventh favorite team to win the 2020 NBA Title.

So why would Kevin Durant give up seemingly guaranteed championships every year? Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report says it is because KD doesn’t feel at home and is under appreciated. Ya think? He is the second best player in the world and the fans could not care less if he was on the team or not. No matter how many NBA Finals MVP’s he gets, the Golden State Warriors will always be Steph Curry’s team.

Not sure why the Knicks are KD’s first choice. Very few solid reasons have been given as to why the Knicks are the favorite to land him. The most concrete reason is that he wants to prove that he can win a championship by himself as the face of a franchise. A team where he doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone else. He’s been called names like “snake” and “ring chaser” and “Kevin”. But now he just wants a fanbase to call him “their guy”. It’s about legacy now. If he goes to another team and wins another championship, but this time, without the help of 3 other top 20 players, he will begin to be included in the top 5 all time debates.

I can see why the Knicks would be an attractive spot. He gets to play at the basketball Mecca, Madison Square Garden 40 times a year. They will most likely get Zion Williamson number one overall in the draft. And, they may even get Kyrie Irving in free agency. He will have all the pieces he needs there. Oh, and he will get PAID. Paid as much as he would ever want by that god forsaken franchise.

Here is what the starting lineup would look like if everything falls into place:

PG- Kyrie Irving
SG- Kevin Knox
SF- Zion Williamson
PF- Kevin Durant
C- DeAndre Jordan

Check out the full list of 2020 title odds below: (From Si.com)

Golden State Warriors: 7/4
Milwaukee Bucks:  9/2
Boston Celtics: 7/1
Philadelphia 76ers: +1000
Houston Rockets: +1000
Los Angeles Clippers: +1600
New York Knicks: +1600
Los Angeles Lakers: +2000
Toronto Raptors: +2000
Denver Nuggets: +2500
Oklahoma City Thunder: +2500
Brooklyn Nets: +3000
Utah Jazz: +4000
Portland Trail Blazers: +4000
Dallas Mavericks: +5000
San Antonio Spurs: +6000
Indiana Pacers: +8000
Orlando Magic: +10000
Atlanta Hawks: +10000
Chicago Bulls: +10000
Sacramento Kings: +10000 
Detroit Pistons: +30000 
Charlotte Hornets: +30000 
Miami Heat: +30000 
Washington Wizards: +30000 
Cleveland Cavaliers: +30000 
Minnesota Timberwolves: +30000
Memphis Grizzlies: +30000
New Orleans Pelicans: +30000 
Phoenix Suns: +30000

Big time “cover their ass” move by Vegas to go ahead and put the Knicks at 16-1. If KD was not in contention to land there, they would be at +30000 with the Suns.

Derrick Rose Has the Realest Reaction to Finding Out He Got Traded to the Knicks

Derrick Rose. The pride and joy of Chicago basketball. After being born and raised in the Windy City, he returned from playing his college ball in Memphis to bring the Bulls back to the promised land.

Leading the Bulls back to being real contenders out of the East and even winning the MVP over LeBron James made DRose the most beloved Chicago player since Michael Jordan. Then, after countless injuries, it seemed like the Bulls organization had flipped on him and a trade seemed inevitable. A documentary by Stadium captured the very moment it happened. Watch:

Seeing a reaction that raw and emotional made my heart sink to my stomach. I felt like I had just gotten traded to the Knicks.

All they got out of it was Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant. Really rubbing salt in the wound there. The Bulls deserve everything that has happened to them since they traded away DRose. Can’t keep a coach, one .500 season and one playoff appearance where they got bounced first round.

Shouldn’t have done DRose like that.

Knicks Owner James Dolan Personally Kicks Fan out of MSG

Knicks owner, and super well liked guy, personally calls for fan to be kicked out of Madison Square. He has activated full dictator mode. Here is the video from TMZ posted on Yahoo Sports Twitter:

A fan who represents 100% of Knicks fans told James Dolan to sell the team. Probably the most popular opinion in New York right now. Within seconds, he calls for the fan to be removed from the stadium.

“Enjoy watching them on TV.” As if watching them in person was any better. Normally successful people are a lot better at taking criticism. Not the clown that is James Dolan. I don’t see how Knicks fans are still defending him. I guess their unwavering support will be justified next year when they get Kyrie, KD and Zion.

Knicks and Kings Hashing Out Trade

Yes, you read the right sports’ fans. Vlade Divac is proving his love affair with former UK players by engaging in talks with the Knicks for former (but not really since he was ruled ineligible) UK basketball player Enes Kanter. Who would he be sending over you may ask? Former All-Star Zach Randolph. Now, if you were the Knicks, I do not know why you would be trading $18.6 mil of dead salary (since he wipes off the books next year) for just $11.7 mil of dead salary. So what does that mean?

More players.

Based off of looking at the composition of the teams and the money that needs to be cleared, I believe that the best possible trade would be something like this…

Kings Receive – C Enes Kanter (1 yr/$18.8 mil), PF/C Luke Kornet (1 yr/$1.6 mil)
Knicks Receive – PF/C Zach Randolph (1 yr/$11.7 mil), C Kosta Koufos (1 yr/$8.7 mil) + draft pick(s)

Again, this is one I came up with immediately upon hearing the trade rumors. However, after much thought, I completely thought of a different one that, for the scope of the Knicks FA plans, makes amazing sense for both teams…

Kings Receive – C Enes Kanter (1 yr/$18.8 mil), SG/SF Tim Hardaway, Jr. + draft compensation
Knicks Receive – PF/C Zach Randolph (1 yr/$11.7 mil), C Kosta Koufos (1 yr/$8.7 mil), SG Iman Shumpert (1 yr/$11 mil)

So, this one should be somewhat logical in its thought process. The money essesntially matches, with the Kings receiving slightly more not only in the first year, but also the additional years in Tim Hardaway, Jr.’s contract. However, the biggest difference between the Kings and Knicks is that the Kings DO NOT have a pick in the top heavy 2019 draft class. They hypothetically could, but it is super unlikely that this will occur. So, keeping in mind that the Kings wish to build through the draft whereas the Knicks have essentially announced to the world that they will be “big players in the 2019 FA market.”

Now, I do not know the protections said pick will receive. I also do not know if the Knicks will be fully on board with going into this cap space sell-out mode. Also, this will hurt the Kings since the players they are acquiring are infinitely better than the ones they are trading for. Hopefully though, they both can agree. I would take the trade if I was both teams.

Knicks could finally waive Luke Kornet, and could stretch Courtney Lee’s contract in the offseason to make more space (would free up an additional $9 mil in the FA). Knicks could walk into 2019 FA with a little under $67 mil under the cap. Enough to pursue 2 All-Stars (cough cough KD).

Kings, on the other hand, add meaningful wing depth in Tim Hardaway, Jr. They also free up a roster spot for another money dump trade, which they seem to be all for. On top of this, they also free up center and guard minutes for their promising young players, and can thoroughly make a promising run at the 8th seed in the playoffs. They also get that coveted Knicks pick (projected at #3 currently based on records) to build their team for the future. Of course, the Knicks may not wish to use a draft pick this year, and may send a 2020 first instead. That would be just as good, if not better, for the Kings. After all, they are a good wing away from being one of the best young teams in the NBA.

Realistic Odds on the AD Lotto (which may occur sooner rather than later)

A couple reports have come out recently stating that the Celtics and Lakers are hoarding assets in order to make a trade for AD. Whether it occurs before the deadline this season, in the free agency, or during next season, it doesn’t matter. It is a year away, and the class this year is stacked with a ton of All-Stars. The issue? They are on a very very tight deadline. Of course, this isn’t factoring in other teams offers, and this also is not including the package the Pels can offer (I could have just said contract, but I had to say package lol).

The following teams are just a few that have a shot. Of course, this is all predicated on many factors happening for some. For instance, one team pretty much will need to sign multiple players and improve their team tremendously in order to even get a meeting with AD. Of course, that will be addressed, along with my odds. I will only be going over these teams, since they are the only ones who will have the money to offer in free agency, or be able to trade for (and afford) his contract during/after the seaso.

Any who, lets start this off with one of the more intriguing teams to be on this list…

Boston Celtics

This article originally was one comparing the Lakers, Celtics, and Pelicans since all three are considered the front runners. In fact, the hottest take of this may be that the Celtics are the favorite, and they have been staying out of the limelight of this whole situation! As is the Celtic way, they are trying to stay out of the spotlight while keeping tabs on the situation. Classic Ainge.

The Celtics can (realistically) offer the best trade package compared to anyone that wishes to get involved with this. I won’t get much into specifics, but if a trade were to occur that would involve a top 5 player in the league, I would assume it would come down to picks and (young) players. Out of every team on this list, the Celts are the only ones that can reasonably offer not only both, but some of the best with both. I don’t know many teams that would turn down a (hypothetical) Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, and 2 first round picks. Hell, I’d consider that a baseline for anyone wishing to get AD, like they would have to do better than this trade. And that isn’t even the best one the Celts can make. Scary to consider.

I get the whole agent connection to LA, but Davis has already fired one agent. He could and would do it again. The Pelicans, as an organization, may find it hard to turn down “The Godfather” offer from the Celtics, since we all know Ainge has been working AD since he entered the draft. Issue I see is the fact the Celtics cannot trade for AD until next year due to the designated veteran player extension rule (long story short = cant have 2 players with that contract designation on the team that you didn’t draft). Maybe that factors in, maybe not. At the end of the day, they have the BEST parts to offer.

God save the NBA if a Kyrie-AD high pick-and-roll becomes a thing soon. We may not see the East be the same afterwards.

Buck’s Odds – 30% (stabilized)

Brooklyn Nets

The issue the Nets have besides terrible management and a horrible track record in trades is simple, but difficult to overcome: they don’t have the assets to move in order to get AD. Yes, they could trade them D-Lo, Caris Lavert, Jarrett Allen, and a couple picks…but then who do they have left besides Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, and a (pretty bad) Rondae Hollis-Jefferson? If you count DeMarre Carroll, then that roster looks pretty bare to me, and thats assuming his agent green lights this trade. While they would have the cap to get AD and another star, this seems slightly out of the question to me. They would essentially gut their team to get stars, and that’s assuming the stars want to meet with them.

Sorry Nets fans, I just can’t see this working out unless they are willing to be (arguably) worse than they are currently.

Buck’s Odds – 5% (falling)

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are on here not because they can offer the best trade package or anything of that sort. In fact, it would be best for the Mavs to not try and get in a bidding war at all over AD, since they would lose completely. However, what they can do is be the money man in the free agency. Roughly $35.5 mil will come off the books when PF/C Dwight Powell’s and SF Harrison Barnes’ contracts end after the 2019-2020 season. Another $28 mil will come off as well when SG Wes Matthews’s contract ends this year. This also isn’t factoring the nearly $23 mil of DeAndre Jordan’s money that comes off the books as well. Do I think these are likely? Hell yes. Maybe they give some small “Thanks for being here, and we like you” contracts to them (beside DJ, apparently this experiment will not be renewed after this year). If they paid to keep Powell, Matthews, and Barnes around on about $20 mil (<$5 mil, >$5 mil, roughly $10 mil respectively), they will still have about $53 mil free this offseason AND about $40 mil (in other contracts as well) cap space free next season. This is INSANE to think about, and that is with no other draft picks. It would be criminal to see Dennis Smith, Luka, Barnes (capable 3 and D), Maxi Kleber, and AD walk out. Have your bench be J.J. Barea, Wes Matthews, Dorian Finney-Smith, Dirk, and Dwight Powell? Remember, this is WITHOUT ANY OTHER SIGNINGS as well.

Legitimately would trade my Cav’s fan membership card to watch Dirk unretire to win one more ring with that squad.

Buck’s Odds – 2.5% (rising)

Los Angeles Clippers

There are 4 teams on this list that could feasibly offer a good trade package to the Pelicans. I mean, REALISTICALLY there are 5 teams that can afford the trade, but I consider two team’s packages (lol) to be “half” packages. Like they are only half as good as what the other 3 teams could offer. The Celts are one of those 3, as is this team: the LA Clippers.

Long regarded as the “other LA team”, the Clippers have better plays top-to-bottom on their whole roster than the Lakers do. While yes, LeBron is better than anyone the Clippers have, I would say that it is a bad sign when a member of “the Meme team” is the second best player (aka the Shaqtin’ a Fool MVP Javale McGee) on the Lakers. This is where the Clippers can easily step in and say, “Hold my beer.”

The Clippers are one of the teams that can either pay AD or trade for AD, and that is something no other team can truly say. They can ask the Pelicans who they want, and I can only see about one or two players the Clippers say “No way” to. And those players aren’t even their best. Pels more than likely won’t able to take two of each position, but they could feasibly say they want Avery Bradley, Danilo Gallinari, Marcin Gortat, and some picks. The Clippers would promptly then say, “Where do we sign?”

If they can’t get a trade worked out, then who cares! They could sign him. They are walking into the free agency with about $60 mil burning a hole in their pocket. They could pay him AND Kawhi for all they care. Top defense in the league? More like best team in LA. Hell, I’d say best in the West when the Warriors implode this offseason.

Buck’s Odds – 25% (rising)

Los Angeles Lakers

In the Clippers section, I talked about how there were 3 teams that can offer a good trade package? Ya know, one that would be super hard to turn down if you were the Pels?

Yeah, the Lakers aren’t one lol.

The Lakers have the worst trade package to offer from those that wish to offer any kind of package (lol). I would rather have one that is at the end of this list over this one. I don’t know how intrigued I be by choosing three from the pool of Ball, Rondo, KCP, Lance, Kuzma, Ingram, and Chandler. That’s even with getting picks from it as well. While all are good in their own right, I just cannot see any being anything besides okay. I also don’t know if the Pelicans even want to trade with them since there seems to be (based on the Suns refusal to include the Lakers in any talks for a 3 team trade) a rising anti-Lakers-trade sentiment starting to creep into the West.

There is a downside to getting LeBron, and that clearly is one.

However, one of the biggest benefits is that the free agency draw is out of this world. The Lakers will have money to blow in the free agency, and this is what they are prioritizing. Of course, Magic gave himself a deadline, so he will overpursue this year and (maybe) next year as well. I know that their top 5 is (tentatively) Kemba, Klay, Drey, AD, and Kawhi. That is in no particular order, but this is just through the free agency. This is not including any trades that may occur. The only way the Lakers get a meeting with any of these players though (I mean, a “I’m actually paying attention” meeting) is to acquire another star via trade. And that’s the hard part since it seems that no one wants to trade to make this happen.

Smart move rest of league.

Buck’s Odds – 15% (stabilizing)

Milwaukee Bucks

I considered including them earlier, but dismissed the idea when looking at their financial situation. However, hearing that Giannis walked up to AD and pretty much said “Should come here bro” made me reconsider and include them.

Bucks’ fans have much to worry about since Giannis’ free agency is looming, and they can’t put together a team around him no matter how much money they throw around. Khris Middleton and Brooke Lopez are amazing, sure, but at one point they had close to $40 mil wrapped up in Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson, and Tony Snell. That’s also not including other, less tasteful assets (cough cough Jabari) that they used to have. This also isn’t factoring in the issue that they currently have about $51.5 mil accounted for between George Hill, Eric Bledsoe, Tony Snell, and Ersan Ilyasova.

Yikes.

However, a trade FOR Davis would help alleviate some of this stress, but I don’t see the benefit of doing so since that would more than likely see Brogdon, Lopez, and Middleton/Hill/Bledsoe leave along with a pick. I don’t know if they can afford to do that since they are gelling REALLY FREAKING well right now.

However, signing AD? Definitely in the scope for the Bucks. They will have to first make sure they retain Middleton when he inevitably declines his player option and tries to get more money from the Bucks this offseason (especially with his play currently). This also isn’t accounting for the Bledsoe and Lopez free agencies as well. After next season? Well hopefully they not only move on from George Hill, and also find a way to trade Ilyasova and Tony Snell (since I doubt Tony will decline his almost $11 mil player option for that year). If they do that, they could easily free up about $38 mil. More than likely it’ll be about $30 mil since Middleton’s new contract may very well be $20-22 mil a year. This will still be more than enough money to pitch to AD, and this isn’t even factoring in the salary cap rising either.

A lot of things have to fall a certain way, which is why it is tough to justify. However, I cannot realistically think of a better frontcourt than Middleton, Giannis, and AD. I can’t even think of a better 4-5 combo. Ever. God imagine that high pick-and-roll. You can’t defend that.

I hope AD at this point considers playing with them.

Buck’s Odds – 10% (falling)

New Orleans Pelicans

It sucks to be a Pels fan right about now. It really does. I mean, you got the best big man to enter the league since Shaq. You’ve finally had a team around him that not only can compete, but even made it to the second round. And what happens? He comes out and says he doesn’t care about the money, and that his legacy means more to him than anything else. Bullsh*t aside? It means he wants rings and not stacks. He’s already got the proverbial bag, and he’ll get more when he goes to a major market with sponsorships. So what’s another couple mil in a small market on a bad team, when he could be on a smaller contract on a contender?

While the Pels can’t trade for AD since he’s on their team (duh), their inclusion is solely because they their goal is to convince him to stay. I find it highly unlikely they can, but the money IS THERE. I just don’t think he wishes to stay on a team that, for 8 years, has not been able to do much until last season. And they lost the third best player from that playoff run! It will be sad to see them slip back into mediocrity, but at least they had some time in the limelight.

Buck’s Odds – 5% (falling)

New York Knicks

So the Knicks are on here because they WISH to be contenders. Whether they do this through the free agency or the draft, no one really knows. It seems to be that they wish to do both, which I don’t believe they will be able to since they need to trade 2 bad contracts (G Tim Hardaway, Jr. and G Courtney Lee). Both contracts add up to ~$31 mil, and they will also lose the horrible ~$19 mil contract of C Enes Kanter at the end of this year as well. Maybe they can even move SF/PF Lance Thomas well to free up another $8ish mil (unlikely though). The issue with that $40 mil free (if they can do it)? They still have to pay the Unicorn himself, Kristaps Porzingis.

Which now present a weird conundrum I am sure you are asking: why would they want Porinzin-God and AD on the same team? And while this may have failed on the Clippers and Pels (when they brought in Demarcus Cousins), they could go with the “Twin Towers” mentality. Imagine the lid they would put on the rim; they could easily average 10-15 blocks a game as a team.

I mean, I don’t see this occurring. I consider it solely because the Knicks NEED to make a move to make themselves a destination. While I believe the only way to do this is through the draft (or by landing KD in the free agency), getting an All-Star is better than not having an All-Star. I mean, I bet the Thunder didn’t expect Paul George to last the year. If you can get a guy in, then you can work on him and convince him every day that you are the best place for him.

Who knows, maybe Dolan sells and the new owner turns them into the “super team” their fanbase believes they deserve to be.

Buck’s Odds – 5% (falling)

Phoenix Suns

I thought it was very short-sighted of the Suns to trade Ariza at this point in the season. I’m opening with this statement because he was a valuable asset, and they moved him for nothing. Why? You could easily have used him to get some better compensation than Austin Rivers (who may not even sign with the team) and Kelly Oubre. Who? Well, maybe AD.

Many of you will look at this trade, and say, “The hell you talkin’ ’bout Buck?”

But hear me out right now with this…

-Pelicans Trade – PF/C Anthony Davis, SF/PF Solomon Hill
-Suns Trade – SF/PF TJ Warren, SF/PF Josh Jackson, C Deandre Ayton + picks (more than likely next year’s draft pick)

…right?

If the Suns still had Ariza, you’d just take out Josh Jackson and put Ariza in instead. This trade looks…well, if I was the Pelicans, I’d take it. You get a new, young “franchise” player, you get two very capable wings, and you also get a pick out of it. Suns on the other hand? They finally get a great running mate for D Book, and they also finally get a center that understands how to play defense. They also get a capable defender that they can have play the wing, and they can move on from either Warren or Jackson (since they both play the same position, though I’d more than likely prefer to trade Jackson over Warren). In one trade, both teams benefit mightily. Pelicans can focus on a rebuild OR compete for the 8 seed in the playoffs, and the Suns immediately become a hub for the free agency (cough cough any point guard).

Now, I haven’t gone through the money side of this. In fact, this team came to me at the very end. But color me intrigued to say the least. I mean, this trade could still happen as far as I am concerned. This package is pretty hard to refuse (lol).

Buck’s Odds – 2.5% (and rising)