But Durant didn’t even schedule a meeting with the Lakers.
The Atlanta Hawks’ free-agent priorities are re-signing forward Al Horford and swingman Kent Bazemore, but the Hawks are also trying to wedge their way into the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Hawks, like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, have been working to try to convince Durant and his representatives to grant them a face-to-face recruiting meeting after free agency starts at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, even though their chances appear dim.
Durant scheduled meetings with the teams he believed made the most sense: Thunder, Warriors, Spurs, Celtics, Heat and Clippers. If the Lakers and Hawks get meetings, they could try to persuade him. But it already seems like an uphill climb for Durant’s scheduled suitors outside Oklahoma City and Golden State. The Lakers and Atlanta face even longer odds.
Still, a meeting with Durant accomplishes a few things:
1. It lays the groundwork for 2017 if Durant signs a one-year contract. Maybe the Lakers or Hawks will look more appealing a year from now.
2. It establishes the team as a major player in free agency and might help get other free agents to take notice.
3. It excites fans, who might spend money on the team.