How Kawhi Leonard's free agent decision could impact Knicks, Kevin Durant –


Along with the decisions coming from pending free agents Kevin DurantKyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and others, the decision Kawhi Leonard makes could have huge ramifications for the Knicks. 

The Knicks haven’t been heavily connected to Leonard, but where he winds up could potentially have the biggest impact on the man rumored to be their main target — Durant.

And if you were expecting Kawhi Leonard — one of the quietest superstars ever — to give away what he’s thinking about his pending free agency, you should probably adjust your expectations.

Speaking on Saturday night, Leonard — who the Knicks have the salary cap space for (as well as a second max player if they wish) and will be one of the most sought-after free agents this summer — was a man of few words when asked about his future.

“Just playing the season right now. Just talk to people, just see what I want to do,” Leonard told reporters after the Raptors took down the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

When pressed further about free agency, Leonard shut it down.

“I’m not talking about that right now,” he said. “We’re going to get there. I’m focused on this season. We can talk about the game.”

Leonard has been linked to the Clippers and Lakers the most, and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Thursday that the Clippers — who now have room for two max players — are hoping to snag Leonard and Durant this summer.

Durant landing with the Clippers at all — let alone with Leonard — would put a huge crimp in what the Knicks are trying to do. And joining the Clippers along with Leonard would mean Durant being able to challenge his nemesis LeBron James of the Lakers for supremacy in Los Angeles. 

Since trading Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks and opening up two max slots for this summer, the whispers of Durant-to-the-Knicks have gotten as loud as ever, with some convinced the Knicks have already been tipped off that Durant is coming to New York.

As Knicks officials have become increasingly confident about Durant coming and with Durant recently stonewalling reporters before going off on them, the potential of Leonard’s decision impacting the Knicks has flown under the radar. 

But with less than five months to go until free agency, the future of the quietest superstar could have a huge impact on the future of one of the loudest.

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