Brooklyn Nets: The preferred choice of 2019 free agents headed to NY?

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: The Brooklyn Nets logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: The Brooklyn Nets logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Could the Brooklyn Nets beat the New York Knicks as the preferred Big Apple destination of choice for 2019 superstar free agents this summer?

This summer a number of high-profile players are set to potentially change the NBA landscape. Since the Chicago Bulls dynasty, the balance of power has favoured the Western Conference with fourteen of the past twenty championships. Could the Brooklyn Nets be a preferred choice for 2019 free agents?

There are rumors and predictions that might all change come July 1st. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are but a few of the names that are ready to ink their name on a brand new contract.

Whether their goal is to group up in some fashion and create a super team or head out on their own and be the focal point of a floundering team in hopes of change, all arrows point towards New York as the geographical destination of choice.

More from Empire Writes Back

The problem is, the Knicks might not exactly be the jersey that these individuals are pulling over their heads when the 2019-20 season tips off. Right now the Brooklyn Nets have $54 million guaranteed on their payroll for next season, while the Knicks are only tied to $34 million.

The Nets will no doubt sign All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell and odds are Allen Crabbe claims his $18.5 million player option, but that still leaves enough space for a max free agent or two.

Currently the Brooklyn Nets are surprising many as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race and set to make their first post season appearance since 2014-15.

The Knicks on the other hand are in a race of their own as they are clearly in “tanking” mode, with hopes of landing a top three draft pick (Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Ja Morant) and praying that the lure of playing in the mecca of Madison Square Garden is enough to attract a superstar or two.

The big question is, will that be enough to convince a free agent to come to a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2012-13?  If you were a NBA free agent star, would a roster of Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr. and a young rookie be more attractive than a core of Russell, Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie?

Next. Russell's All-Star journey. dark

Would MSG and the media spotlight that comes with it be more convincing than playing at the state of the art Barclays Centre?

Many think that players seek the big market teams in order to expand their personal brand.

However, a thirty minute drive over the Manhattan Bridge to play for a team that seems to have a better sense of direction, a stronger core already intact and currently isn’t under scrutiny by the media for their questionable decision-making, might very well be more attractive to a player seeking to not only make a couple of bucks, but to possibly etch their name in New York basketball history.