The New York Knicks had an opportunity to meet with Kawhi Leonard, but decided to go in a different direction.
The New York Knicks were big game hunting in 2019, but they reportedly turned down a meeting with Kawhi Leonard. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks passed on an opportunity to meet with Leonard.
“According to a source, Leonard agreed to meet with the Knicks, but not until Wednesday after finishing with the Clippers and Lakers,” Berman wrote.
“That plan was scratched by Knicks’ brass over logistics.”
This is not surprising considering the way free agency transpired. Leonard is taking his time with his decision, but that was hardly the case for the majority of free agents this summer. A flurry of moves went down as soon as free agency began on June 30 (what tampering rules?)
Had the Knicks waited on Kawhi like the Lakers and Clippers are doing, they would have missed out on guys like Julius Randle, Reggie Bullock, and Bobby Portis.
Obviously, those players aren’t in the same class as Leonard, but the Knicks had no reason to believe they could sign the reigning Finals MVP. Rather than hold out hope for a miracle, the Knicks moved on with plan B, which hasn’t been so bad.
They have a bunch of veterans on team-friendly contracts and a slew of draft picks in the coming years. Things could be much worse.
The Knicks whiffed in their first opportunity to cash in on the Kristaps Porzingis trade, but they’ll have other opportunities in coming years.