Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving planned to play together beginning 2019 even before the 18-19 season began, according to "knowledgeable sources" that spoke with Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.

The thought was the team could be the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, or even the Boston Celtics if things went well in Irving's second season with the franchise.

Both Irving and Durant recognized by midseason that the Nets were in a better position than the Knicks with their existing roster.

"The Nets guys had already proven themselves," one source said.

The outline of Durant and Irving's plan was set by the time the playoffs arrived.

Neither Durant nor Irving were eager to wear the "savior" label that's attached to every star or coach that arrives to the Knicks.

Durant never considered going to the Knicks alone.