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Jimmy Traina @JimmyTraina
More Barkley: ” I dont think Durant or Kyrie are tough enough to play in NY. Kyrie’s a very good player. Kevin’s a great, great player. But Im not sure they have the mental make up to play in NY. Those guys are complaining about the media asking questions. Maybe NY isnt for them.
The summer promises to be quite the show once free agency hits. Players like Durant, Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton and DeMarcus Cousins, among others, are expected to hit free agency.
In anticipation of one of the more loaded free-agency classes in recent memory, the Knicks created two max slots before the trade deadline in the Kristaps Porzingis deal. If the Knicks end up with the first pick in the NBA draft, they could either entice free agents by selecting Zion Williamson or flipping that pick in a package that could also include young players like Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr. and/or Mitchell Robinson for Anthony Davis.
The possibility of a Durant-Irving-Davis trio in New York is terrifying for the rest of the NBA, even if those three players would need time to adjust to playing with one another. Pairing three players of that talent level would make them instant title front-runners.
Of course, such a pairing is still a pipe dream. And if Barkley is to be believed, the added scrutiny of playing in New York would adversely affect players like Durant and Irving. Granted, both have experience with scrutiny—Durant when he signed with the Warriors, and Irving both playing with LeBron James in Cleveland and now trying to lead the Boston Celtics, the favorites in the East coming into the season.
But joining the Knicks together and shifting the balance of power away from Golden State would bring a new level of attention. It’s a fascinating possibility, both on the court and off.