Without a doubt the most sought after free agent this summer will be Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant. The former MVP is one of the league’s top players and teams across the league will be lined up to try and convince him to join their team, including the Los Angeles Lakers.
Durant would be a perfect fit for the Lakers as they badly need a star player to take over for the retired Kobe Bryant, and they just so happen to have a huge hole at the small forward position. Even still, the Lakers chances of landing Durant are likely pretty low.
In the last couple of off-seasons, the top free agents have gone on something of a free agency ‘tour,’ enjoying to get courted by each team. According to Royce Young of ESPN, however, Durant does not plan on doing the same:
Kevin Durant on taking a recruiting tour and wanting to be recruited: "That's not who I am … I'm not that type of person."
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) June 1, 2016
With Durant unlikely to take part in the same drawn out process, Matt Moore of CBS Sports laid out a probable scenario for how Durant’s free agency process will go:
The most-likely scenario is that Durant hosts a series of meetings in L.A. (where he has a home and spends a great deal of time in during the summer) with various interested parties, not unlike what LeBron James did in 2010. He’ll then make his decision, unless he’s already decided to return to OKC, whether on a five-year deal or the expected two-year deal with an opt out in the second season. Then he may not even entertain such offers.
The good thing about this as far as the Lakers go is that Durant seems likely to make his decision relatively quickly. In previous summers the Lakers have waited for days on decisions from the likes of Carmelo Anthony and LaMarcus Aldridge. Meanwhile other excellent players signed elsewhere because the Lakers refused to make any other commitments while waiting.
That won’t be the case this year as even if Durant draws out his decision, the Lakers have enough salary cap space to sign other players without sacrificing a maximum salary slot. The Lakers plan on being major players this summer, now it’s just a matter of seeing who they will be able to convince to come to Los Angeles.