June 29, 2016, 7:38 am
On Friday, the biggest free agent in six years will begin taking meetings in the Hamptons. Over the course of two days, Kevin Durant will reportedly sit down with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers. Despite this well-publicized list, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports that the Lakers have not yet given up hope on signing the former MVP.
“The Lakers believe they have a pitch that will appeal to Durant and other free agents, Broussard writes. “With the ability to clear more than $60 million in cap space, they will attempt to sell stars on the potential of joining the Lakers with another top-tier free agent.”
This angle, which the organization used last year in an attempt to sign LaMarcus Aldridge, continues to be the Lakers’ primary recruiting pitch. “We might not have much right now,” they seem to say, “but if we land you someone else will surely come along for the ride.”
The problem with this line of thinking, however, is that the Lakers aren’t offering Durant anything unique. A front court of Durant and Al Horford (another Lakers’ target in free agency) would be interesting, but Horford – along with the Lakers’ stable of young talent – pales in comparison to the continuity and star power of the Warriors, Spurs or Durant’s current situation in Oklahoma City.
After suffering a bitter loss in the Western Conference Finals, and the string of bad injury luck that haunted the Thunder during the previous three seasons, it would be shocking to see Durant jump to a rebuilding project, even if the team has the money and young talent to rebuild on the fly. Stay tuned.