That’s according to long-time Knicks insider Frank Isola.
The Knicks decided to give up the face of their franchise while also trading Tim Hardaway Jr, Trey Burke and Courtney Lee to acquire Dennis Smith Jr, DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, an unprotected first-round draft pick for 2021 and a first-round pick for 2023.
Porzingis – the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft – has not played in over a year after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last February but had a meeting with Knicks management in which he expressed concerns about their direction and culture.
The Latvian forward had been averaging 22.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for the Knicks before his injury.
It is believed the Knicks gave up the chance to build around Porzingis in order to pursue a major free agent, or even two. They have the cap space for two max contract players in the summer.
They have long been linked with Golden State Warriors superstar Durant, while Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson are the other main players of a packed 2019 class.
And Isola believes the Knicks organisation must believe they will bring Durant to Madison Square Garden as the franchise looks for a much-needed renaissance, having not reached the Eastern Conference Finals since 2000.
“The Knicks must think, as crazy as it sounds, that they’re getting maybe Kevin Durant this summer,” Isola told ESPN Radio’s The Will Cain Show.
“This is all about cap space for the Knicks. We know who’s available, it’s going to be Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving.
“There’s been a lot of talk of Durant and Irving maybe going to Brooklyn, now you can throw the Knicks into the mix as well.
“Irving may be going to LA to play with LeBron if Anthony Davis shows up there. It’s never a sure thing, the players in today’s NBA change their minds all the time.
“After what’s gone on in the league, Durant leaving Oklahoma City to go to Golden State, Paul George staying in Oklahoma City, Irving asking out of Cleveland when they were still title contenders.
“All the different moves, you can’t say you’d be surprised at anything that happens.
“Whether it’s Irving and Durant playing in New York, Irving going to play with LeBron in LA.
“As crazy as it may have sounded two months ago, you can kind of see a possibility where it may happen.”
Porzingis can become a restricted free agent this summer but Isola is confident Dallas have secured an agreement that he will re-sign with them.
He added: “Absolutely. I’m sure that conversation’s happened. Here’s a guy who has been compared to Dirk Nowitzki.
“He’s not going to get to play long term with him, who knows they may never play if Kristaps doesn’t come back.
“We all think Nowitzki will retire. But he’s going into a situation where he’ll spend a couple of months there with Dirk, Doncic he knows.
“I think for him, it’s the perfect organisation. It’s an ideal situation.”