The specter of Kevin Durant’s free agency likely will loom over the Golden State Warriors’ entire season, but the rumors began to swirl long before Durant and Draymond Green got into it Monday during and after a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
A number of teams have been rumored as possible destinations for the two-time NBA Finals MVP to land next summer, with many pointing to the New York Knicks as the leader should Durant indeed bolt from the Bay Area.
But, according to Stephen A. Smith, one team has a slight edge over the Knicks when it comes to landing the nine-time NBA All-Star’s elite services: the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I’m hearing the Knicks and the Lakers, with the Lakers having the edge,” Smith said on “The Stephen A. Smith Show,” as transcribed by Bleacher Report. “That’s what I’m hearing. Two weeks ago, I heard the Knicks had the edge. Now, I hear the Lakers have the edge. Let me tell you something, it appears to be one of those two teams which is Kevin Durant’s next destination. But Golden State is telling me: ‘There’s no way in hell we believe he’s leaving. We believe Kevin Durant’s gonna stay.'”
Durant joining forces with LeBron James in Tinseltown obviously would shift the balance of power in the NBA to Southern California and would make the Lakers the NBA title favorites for the foreseeable future. But if he were to sign with New York and help bring the Knicks their first title since 1973, then his legacy forever would be changed from ring-chasing star to hero of the Mecca.
Of course, there still are seven months for Durant to make up his mind and no one knows what he is thinking right now. As to Smith’s final point, while coach Steve Kerr and Bob Myers might be holding out hope Durant will re-up with them, at least one teammate is singing a slightly different tune.