The New York Knicks' stunning trade this week of Kristaps Porzingis has led some rival NBA executives to believe the team has a level of certainty that it will sign Kevin Durant this summer, according to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck.
"It means they're pretty sure they're getting KD," one anonymous executive said.
The Knicks could have up to $75 million in salary cap space this summer following Thursday's trade, which jettisoned Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks for three players and two draft picks, including the expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews.
New York has been a rumored landing spot for Durant should he opt out of the last year of his contract with the Golden State Warriors this summer to become an unrestricted free agent.
Some are still shocked by the Porzingis trade. While there had been reports the 7-foot-3 forward was not happy with the current trajectory of the Knicks, few expected the team to part ways with the potential franchise cornerstone so early in his career.
"It's never happened," a veteran executive told Beck. "Teams have given up unprotected picks. But no one's ever traded an established star, an established commodity, just to clear money."