James Dolan thinks rival teams are plotting to keep marquee free agents away from New York.
Dolan says the Knicks—with the worst record in the NBA, and missing the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year—will be a “favored” destination this summer.
The team owner adds that he has no intention of selling the franchise.
Per The NY Times (via “The Michael Kay Show” on 98.7 ESPN New York):
“For the record, I am not selling the team, and I am not quitting,” Dolan, the team’s owner, said on Tuesday during a rare radio interview.
A number of top players — including Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Klay Thompson — are expected to be free agents, and Dolan is confident the Knicks will be able to sign two of the top players despite the team’s woes.
“Free agents want to go to a winner and get paid,” said Dolan. “We are definitely going to pay them, and we think that with them and the kids we have today, we can build a winning team.”
The idea that Dolan might sell the team gained steam last month after the sports personality Bill Simmons said on his podcast that Dolan was “courting offers,” citing people he talked to at the All-Star Game.
“There are teams that do not want us to get free agents, some in particular,” said Dolan. “He is very close friends with a G.M. of one team. What they are doing is they are trying to destabilize what we have, because they know that we are favored, they know that free agents want to come to us.”