Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Things can change quickly in the NBA, but the general consensus around the league at the moment is that neither the Knicks nor the Nets have a strong chance to sign Kawhi Leonard in free agency.
As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has reported, the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors are seen as the strongest suitors for Leonard.
But it seems logical that both New York teams could at least get a meeting with Leonard in early July. Before Leonard's trade demand from San Antonio became public last June, people around Leonard had talked about New York as an attractive destination for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
"That's definitely real," one source told SNY at the time.
Of note, Leonard spent time rehabbing his quad injury in New York last season, specifically working out at times at the NBA Players Association gym in Manhattan. Also of note: Dennis Robertson, Leonard's uncle and advisor, works for a company in New Jersey.
So it wouldn't be surprising if Leonard met with the Knicks, Nets -- or both -- this summer.
The Knicks, of course, have enough cap space for two free agents and can tell Leonard to pick his co-star in New York.
Brooklyn is coming off of a strong season and is well-known for its top-notch training department -- something that could be attractive to Leonard.
The Nets can also clear enough cap space to sign a second max free agent, though they would need to cut significant salary or renounce rights to free agents (D'Angelo Russell being an example) to get enough money for a second star.
Neither the Knicks nor the Nets can offer Leonard the most money. Toronto can make Leonard a max offer of five years and $190 million. The most that the Knicks, Nets or any other non-Raptors suitor can offer Leonard is four years and $141 million.