With the speculation brewing that Kevin Durant could sign just about anywhere during the NBA offseason, a new visual has been entered into the database of Laker Nation.
Exhibit A: Courtesy of ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
If you’re tardy to party: The photo above is of Maverick Carter, LeBron James’ business partner and Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant’s business partner. The two sat courtside last night at the Game 3 matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
What does it mean? Probably nothing. But it is a reminder that the NBA’s summer free agency is rapidly approaching.
Where will Kevin Durant land?
Having a projected $72 million in cap space next year,the New York Knicks are reportedly the favorite to land Durant via NBA free agency this summer.
“I think they’re a top contender if he leaves Golden State,” NBA insider, Ric Bucher told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I would expect that he goes to New York for a variety of reasons. Scott Perry was right-hand man to Sam Presti on the Oklahoma City Thunder for a long time. He and KD know each other very well. His business manager is from New York and is a huge Knicks fan. The idea that he would love to work for the Knicks and have some role in that, if that could be a consideration, I think all of that has some legitimacy to it. And so, I look at all of that, I look at what the business aspirations are and what New York could afford. And the fact that his business manager, that’s where he’s from and he knows the landscape and that if he goes to, I mean just imagine, he’s been a two-time NBA Finals MVP, he’s won a couple of rings.”
“The Knicks are quietly, I believe, becoming attractive,” FS1’s Jason McIntyre told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast earlier this year.
“The Knicks. Now listen, Zion’s going to be attractive to people. Again, I don’t think he’s going to be like the best player in the league right out the gate, right? He’s going to sell a lot of tickets, he’s unselfish, I actually think R.J. Barrett will be the number one pick, I think he’s a more complete offensive player. I don’t think Zion could be a number one in the NBA on a championship contender. I like Zion a lot, but I do wonder, are the Knicks attractive?”
The Los Angeles Lakers are also an option, as I reported in September.
The Lakers will enter the 2019 free agency period with a ton of roster spots to fill.
Durant signed a two-year, $61.5 million contract with the Warriors and has the option to opt out ahead of the 2019-20 season, per Spotrac.
If Durant were to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers next offseason, it would leave them with a minimum of two years to play together.
The Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019 where several NBA superstars like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan are expected to become unrestricted free agents.