The New York Knicks took a swing and missed during this summer's free agency. Though they had their sights set on several top tier players, one superstar the team never had a chance with was Kawhi Leonard.
Kawhi told New York City reporters on Saturday that he never wanted to go to the Knicks. During free agency, the local media claimed that Leonard agreed to meet with the Knicks after he finished up his visits to the two Los Angeles franchises. This gave the impression that the Knicks could have landed the superstar if the Clippers didn't pull off their unprecedented trade for Paul George. Yet, according to Leonard, this couldn't be further from the truth.
Kawhi's reveal makes him the latest player to make his disinterest in playing for the Knicks known. Along with Kawhi, the Knicks couldn't secure meetings with Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant. As known, both of these superstars quickly committed to playing together in Brooklyn.
Yet, unlike KD and Kyrie, there were no long-standing rumors surrounding Kawhi's interest in playing in Madison Square Garden. This makes the reports that surfaced at the time seem like mere free agency assumptions. The lack of talented teammates, in addition to having no connection to New York City, wouldn't have made Kawhi inclined to sign with the Knicks over one of his two hometown franchises. Meeting with New York would have just been an unnecessary formality.