Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Brooklyn Nets have two of the best players in the NBA - a gut punch to the New York Knicks.
Kevin Durant announced on Sunday via his sports business network "The Boardroom" that he will be playing with the Nets next season.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported Durant's commitment, the two-time Finals MVP is expected to sign a four-year contract worth just below the max of $164 million. Durant is expected to be joined by his friend, Kyrie Irving, who reportedly will work quickly on reaching an agreement with the Nets.
Durant is expected to miss the rest of the season due to an Achilles injury but between Irving and the Nets' young core, they should have more than enough talent to compete in the Eastern Conference in his absence.
That Durant chose the Nets over the Knicks and a return to Golden State is a huge coup for the organization.
The Nets won 20 games just three years ago and were left mostly barren after the failed Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade. But if Durant returns to prior form after his rehab, Brooklyn should compete for a championship.
This is a brutal development for the Knicks, who had hoped to land Durant. Many agents and executives - and people around Durant - believed Durant would sign with the Knicks during the season.
New York dealt All-Star Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas in February in a transaction that opened up enough max space for the club to sign two max players. New York was optimistic about its chances of landing Durant prior to the injury.
Now, he's with their rivals.
The Nets are also in strong position to land veteran Garrett Temple, per SNY sources. He will join a core around Durant and Irving that includes Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and others that helped lift the Nets to the playoffs last season.
Brooklyn will not retain all star guard D'Angelo Russell with Irving and Durant on the roster.