Knicks owner James Dolan’s worst nightmare has unfolded as the crosstown rival Nets swiped Kevin Durant — and Kyrie Irving — from their hands.
While the traded Kristaps Porzingis is expected to sign a long-term deal with the Mavericks, Durant announced on The Boardroom’s Instagram account Sunday that he’s going to Brooklyn to sign a four-year, $164 million deal.
An unhappy Porzingis was traded in late January by the Knicks in a deal that opened max slots for Durant and Irving. But the Nets did their own maneuvering and opened up the same amount of cap space to outdo the Knicks again with a chance to take over the city’s basketball scene.
Irving’s leap to the Nets was expected for two weeks, but Durant’s decision was a slap-in-the-face stunner after many months of inaccurate reports elsewhere stating it was a “done deal” with the Knicks.
Team president Steve Mills released a statement saying the franchise remains “upbeat.’’
“While we understand that some Knicks fans could be disappointed with tonight’s news, we continue to be upbeat and confident in our plans to rebuild the Knicks to compete for championships in the future, through the draft, targeted free agents and continuing to build around our core of young players,” Mills said in the statement.
An ESPN report stated owner James Dolan was not prepared to offer Durant the max because of the Achilles tear he suffered during the NBA Finals. However, sources close to Mills last week said Durant was on their max list, but they’d proceed cautiously and wanted to see his medical records.