In dealing Kristaps Porzingis and potentially onerous contracts to the Dallas Mavericks in advance of the NBA trade deadline, the New York Knicks placed a great deal of emphasis on the summer of 2019. In short, the Knicks opened up the potential to acquire two max-salary free agents in July but, in doing so, exposed the organization to ridicule and finger-pointing if they are not able to put the pieces together in the wake of a trade involving their best roster asset in Porzingis.
With that as the backdrop, the organization seemingly used a very interesting approach when dealing with season ticket holders this week. New York apparently attempted to lure renewals by using an image of the best free agent on the market, Kevin Durant, alongside a photo of current Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson.
For good measure, this was confirmed by another current season ticket holder.
The Knicks would almost certainly argue, at least publicly, that the use of Durant is a “coincidence” and the focus of the overall campaign was on Robinson. Still, that is highly difficult to believe and this appears to be a particularly brazen example of a team marketing hope and the potential for a big splash.
Durant recently took issue with some questioning of his plans after the season and referenced the Knicks along the way. That speaks to the fact that there is plenty of buzz about the former MVP and a potential move to New York but, in the same breath, the NBA probably wouldn’t take kindly to the Knicks using his likeness in marketing five months before Durant reaches free agency.
For now, though, this is mostly just a source of amusement and, on cue, the Knicks have already removed the images.