It’s not exactly a surprise that the New York Knicks are hoping to sign free agent Kevin Durant in the coming weeks.
But it turns out that if the Knicks strike out on one member of the 2018-19 Golden State Warriors squad, they may turn their attention to another one. On Wednesday, the New York Times’ Marc Stein reported that DeMarcus Cousins is seen as a backup plan if the Knicks can’t land Durant.
The Knicks are weighing the prospect of extending a considerable one-year offer to Warriors free-agent big man DeMarcus Cousins if they miss out on top target Kevin Durant, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 27, 2019
The Knicks have enough cap space to sign two free agents to max contracts. If they come up empty, it makes sense to throw a lot of money at Cousins on a one-year deal. It’s money they’d have to spend anyway, due to the salary floor, so the risk to reward ratio is pretty solid.
At best, they get a great year out of Boogie, and put themselves in the driver’s seat to re-sign him to a larger contract in 2020. At worst, Cousins doesn’t pan out, and the Knicks still have the cap space next summer to pursue better free agents.
While the Warriors likely have interest in re-signing Cousins, the Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibits the amount of money they can spend on the four-time All-Star. And that number is much lower than what the Knicks would likely offer, if they indeed target Cousins.