The Thunder remain the front runners.
The Warriors are next in line. The Spurs, Clippers, Celtics, and Heat will get their chances.
Everyone wants a shot to pitch Kevin Durant, the only franchise-changing free agent on the market this year. Two teams who wanted a chance will miss out: The Lakers and Durant’s hometown Wizards, reports Sam Amick of the USA Today.
Despite years of speculation about Durant possibly signing with his hometown Washington Wizards or the Los Angeles Lakers, a person with knowledge of his situation told USA TODAY Sports that those two teams are not expected to land a meeting with the former MVP. As it stands, it’s the six aforementioned teams coming Durant’s way at a location that has not yet been determined.
The New York Knicks have earned their way onto Durant’s radar, having traded for Derrick Rose recently to create quite the combination with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Yet as of now, it remains to be seen how that particular scenario will be handled. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the situation.
Good on Durant for being up front with teams and saying who is in and out, not wasting time meeting with teams he would never sign with.
That said, it should worry the Thunder that he has opened the door this much.
Just not to the Wizards and Lakers.
Ever since LeBron James returned to Cleveland, there has been an expectation from some fans in other cities that players want to come home. That is not always the case — most players don’t like the added off-court demands and pressures that come with being a star in their hometown. That always stood in the Warrior’s way, more than just questions about the roster.
The Lakers are a year away from really getting into these conversations. The addition of Brandon Ingram to D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance — with Luke Walton coaching — has potential to grow into the kind of team stars will want to join and take over the top. But that’s going to be in 2017 and 2018, not this summer. This Lakers team still needs to jell, and that will take a little time.