With the NBA Draft in the books, a few surprising trades already, and free agency quickly approaching, I’d like to welcome everyone to the summer of Kevin Durant.
The Oklahoma City small forward is set to become an unrestricted free agent and listen to offers starting July 1st. The Lakers (as well as basically every other NBA team) have been reportedly interested in acquiring the talents of Durant.
Unfortunately, the team may not even be in the running even before free agency begins. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that six teams have solidified meetings with Durant, with the Lakers not being one of them.
Durant’s representatives at Roc Nation are working to solidify invitations with the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Thunder, league sources said.
Woj goes on to say that teams like the Lakers, Knicks, Wizards, and Rockets will still likely be pursuing Durant, but as of right now they are not in serious consideration.
Several teams that have interest in Durant – the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards – could still find audiences with him, but appear to be outsiders in the process now.
This may be a good thing though for the front office. While this year they will have the luxury of being able to pitch to multiple max contract free agents, the team has been caught up in chasing bigger fish and losing out on valuable role players in recent summers.
The Lakers’ offseason is off to a fantastic start, but now perhaps their greatest challenge awaits in July’s free agency period. Only time will tell if the team can reverse their luck of the past few summers, but they appear to have their work cut out for them.
For a list of free agents the Lakers could pursue this summer, click here.