New York Knicks sent Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving warning after Kristaps Porzingis trade

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That’s according to NBA senior writer Howard Beck.

The Knicks traded Tim Hardaway Jr, Trey Burke and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks in return for Dennis Smith Jr, DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round picks.

Porzingis has been out for a year with a knee ligament tear but was seen as the centrepiece of the Knicks’ franchise and was an All-Star last year before his injury.

The departure of 23-year-old forward – who can also play as a center – means New York can chase two free agents in the summer thanks to a league-high $71million in cap space, while they could also land the No 1 pick in the 2019 draft.

The Knicks are currently 10-40 having desperately struggled without Porzingis this year and having struggled for years, want to bring in players of Durant and Kyrie’s standing to transform their fortunes.

But Beck believes New York do not have enough to pull in either of the pair given the competition they will face in the offseason.

“There’s a lot of ways to read this,” Beck told The Will Cain Show on ESPN Radio.

“The backdrop is that for months there are people around the league who believe very firmly that Durant was at a minimum heavily considering the Knicks or even intending to go to the Knicks. 

“There are factions within Madison Square Garden who believe they’re getting him. 

“Now they have room for two max players so maybe it’s KD and Kyrie Irving, who knows? 

“To me, the huge risk here is the one lynchpin you had, the one player you had that other stars might be attracted to come play with was Porzingis, who you’ve just traded. 

“What are players coming here to do? Where’s the infrastructure? Where’s the supporting cast? It’s nice to have the room to sign two max guys but to play with who? 

“Dennis Smith Jr, Frank Ntilikina, Luke Kornet. Mitchell Robinson is a nice project but he is a project. Kevin Knox showing some signs but he’s not ready to win yet. 

“Kyrie Irving is impatient with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum who are far more advanced. 

“To come to New York to play with Knox and Smith Jr? I don’t see it. You want to have something to attract players to. 

“What the Nets are doing, the Clippers are doing, teams that have cap room this summer and are winning and have players who are under contract or they will re-sign who will be that supporting cast – to me those are the more attractive places. 

“The Knicks are selling an empty roster right now.”