According to a report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA’s two premier superstar free agents—Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant—have had private conversations regarding the possibility of playing together.
Reporting w/ @RamonaShelburne: Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard have been discussing free agent scenarios that could include a future with them playing together. For now, there are two clear possibilities for them to sign into the same franchise: Clippers and Knicks. Story soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2019
The NBA has three active players who have won multiple NBA Finals MVP awards. One is 34-year-old LeBron James, who is building a superteam of his own across the hall with the Lakers. The other two are Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant. Even with Durant likely out all of next season with an Achilles injury, acquiring these two franchise-altering stars is a can’t-miss opportunity.
If Leonard and Durant want to play together, their options are the Knicks and Clippers—which means they’d be playing together on the Clippers. We rag on the Lakers a bunch for being such a poorly-run organization, and the Knicks are truly their East Coast counterparts in dysfunction. But where the current, inept Lakers front office has stumbled into LeBron James and Anthony Davis due to their history and brand, the Knicks have had no such luck.
On the Clippers, Leonard and Durant would have a chance to team up with two All-Rookie selections from last year in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet, as well as the two-time reigning sixth man of the year Lou Williams and third-place finisher for the same award Montrezl Harrell.
The Clippers would have to move Danilo Gallinari’s one-year, $22.6M contract to a team with space in order to fit both Durant and Leonard. They’d then have 7M in remaining cap, plus the $4.75M room exception, to add a couple of additional role players.