Kevin Durant had a painful end to his 2019 season, with the tearing of his achilles and the dissipating of a third possible NBA championship.
This is not to mention the far-reaching implications of the injury, which likely rules him out for the entirety of next season, with free agency floating on the horizon.
Still regarded as one of the most prominent players available in free agency, KD was able to land with the Brooklyn Nets. But ESPN analyst Jalen Rose believes that if it weren't for the injury, things could've turned out a lot differently
Instead of landing with the Nets, Rose believes that KD would have ended up with the New York Knicks, and gives a clear explanation as to why.
From the beginning of free agency, it was clear that KD wanted to partner up with Kyrie Irving to make a decision, but the decision process was originally being led by the reigning two-time champion and Finals MVP. Once KD went down, the dynamic changed, understandably.
“KD went from being the lead domino and trying to persuade Kyrie Irving which team they should play for to getting injured and having to miss an entire year, to Kyrie Irving persuading him what they should play for.” Jalen Rose
According to Rose, the knowledge that Durant would be sitting out for an entire season changed his perspective about what could be best for him, making him focus more on who he would enjoy coming back and playing with the most. That guy was Kyrie, so that's who he let the ultimate decision rest with.
It was obvious that both friends were fond of New York, but it was always unclear as to which New York team would be the one to win out. With Kyrie as the lead on this, the choice was Brooklyn.
Kevin Durant can't be blamed for wanting a sense of security, and the supporting cast that he and Kyrie Irving will be joining make the Nets a wise decision in the long run.
Brooklyn should see obvious improvements with Kyrie added to the mix next season, but when KD makes his return, the Eastern Conference better watch out.