Per Adrian Wojnaroswki, Kevin Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman will take meetings with the Clippers, Warriors, Nets, and Knicks on the first day of free agency. These interactions will be a mix of face-to-face meetings and other types of communication, per Woj, with Durant’s decision-making expected to go well into next week.
This is interesting. Durant has to know that these teams are also meeting with other top-tier free agents, like Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and Kyrie Irving, so his dragging his decision out is probably due to seeing where the dominos fall. Since Irving seems like a lock to go to Brooklyn, KD could want to see if the Knicks and Clippers are able to muster up a comparable sidekick. If not, Brooklyn might be the choice. Of course, there’s also the possibility he wants to completely carve his own path and wouldn’t want to share a team with a guy like Kawhi, but the first options seems more likely.
The Knicks seem to be an unlikely option - they haven’t been linked to any other top free agents, and their team is much further back than the others. With KD taking meetings with other teams, and with Klay Thompson seeming like a lock to return to Golden State, it’s possible that the Warriors’ chances of getting him are also lower than they might seem. Right now, the Nets appear to be the frontrunner for KD’s services, but the Clippers are definitely in the mix. If they can get Kawhi Leonard on the table, or even Jimmy Butler, their chances of KD could go way up.
For the Clippers, it all comes down to timing. Will they be able to get a confirmation from another top free agent before KD makes his decision (if that’s what he’s waiting on)? How many of their other free agents (Pat Beverley, JaMychal Green, Garrett Temple) might be gone by the time KD makes his decision, and could that impact how he views the Clippers (Bev is likely the only game-changer there)? There’s a lot up in the air right now, but the Clippers have Jerry West on their side, one of the people most influential in getting KD to Golden State three years ago. It seems that they at least have a solid chance at signing one of the greatest basketball players of all time this summer - Kevin Durant really might be a Clipper in just a week’s time. Buckle up!
Story filed to ESPN: Golden State’s Kevin Durant is planning to engage four teams in discussions upon the opening of NBA free agency on Sunday – the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Warriors, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2019