Even before the Kevin Durant sweepstakes officially begin on July 1, there are plenty of rumors flying around the former MVP. Many teams are set for a meeting with Durant, but the Los Angeles Lakers are not one of them at this time.
Despite reportedly not being on the initial list of teams, the Lakers have not given up hope at both landing a meeting with Durant and convincing him to join the Lakers.
According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, the Lakers are confident they will land a meeting with Durant with one of his sources saying that he would be shocked if the Lakers didn’t talk to him:
The Lakers intend to contact Durant and his representatives July 1 and are confident they will get a meeting, the source said. “I can’t imagine Durant wouldn’t talk to us,” the source said. “That would shock me.”
Broussard’s same source also laid out the Lakers intention to pitch Durant on the ability to pair him with another star in free agency due to the team’s salary cap room:
“We want to pitch guys on combinations, as opposed to just one guy,” the source said. “We’ll say to a guy, ‘Who do you want to play with? We’ve got the room to go get him.'”
Whether or not that pitch will appease Durant, or if they will have the opportunity to present him with it, is unknown, but it is clear that the Lakers will do everything they can to gain an audience with Durant. For someone of his caliber, it makes sense that the Lakers would go all out in an attempt to convince him to join, but the Lakers still seem like a long shot at best right now.
The idea that they could team Durant with someone else is likely their best selling point right now as Durant is looking to win now and the Lakers’ roster as currently constructed is not championship-level. Even still, the Lakers are not giving up hope of landing free agency’s biggest prize.