The speculation and rumors continue to swirl around the NBA about what the future holds for Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant. The one-time NBA MVP will become an unrestricted free agent in July with many teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, interested in signing him to a lucrative long-term contract.
The Lakers will have quite a bit of competition to sign Durant this summer with plenty of teams in a better position to win now rather than later. If Durant doesn’t stay with the Thunder or join forces with James Harden in Houston, one Rockets official believes he may be headed for Los Angeles via Calvin Watkins of ESPN:
Durant hasn’t given any hints he’ll leave the Thunder. But speculation ranges from him playing close to home in Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles, where one Rockets official believes he’ll reside if he leaves Oklahoma City and doesn’t choose Houston.
A lot can happen between now and when NBA free agency officially begins on July 1. The Thunder will be in contention for a title and could control their fate in terms of re-signing Durant by making a deep postseason run or winning it all.
As for the Lakers, it may be difficult to convince the superstar to join a team in the middle of a rebuilding process. Los Angeles has some promising young talent with D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle leading the way, as well as possibly being able to draft Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram, but it remains uncertain whether Durant is willing to take the gamble on the Lakers being a contender in the near future.
One way to improve the team’s chances to bring in Durant is by signing some of the other top-tier players in free agency. Hassan Whiteside, Al Horford, Chandler Parsons, Pau Gasol, and Nicolas Batum are a few players the Lakers could try to sign this summer to help convince Durant to take a chance on coming to Los Angeles.