The NBA Playoffs are almost over, which means the Kevin Durant sweepstakes will be in full effect this summer. The consensus belief around the NBA world has long been that Durant will sign a max contract with the New York Knicks.
However, there appears to be a serious competitor to the Knicks in this chase, per the latest reports.
According to New York Times reporter Marc Stein, the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as "an equally dangerous threat" to the Knicks to sign Durant this offseason.
.@TheSteinLine reports in his latest newsletter:— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) May 22, 2019
“Within the last month, very smart and plugged-in people I have consulted say that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the Knicks to sign Durant away from Golden State.”https://t.co/0dHZoTkxaX
Stein added that this is guess work among NBA insiders, as Durant has been mum and defensive when it comes to his impending free agency.
"Problem is, at various points during the season, I have heard trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant is already planning to join the Knicks…and then that he is likely to consider the Nets as well…and now that he is eyeing the Clippers just as intently as New York," writes Stein, via his newsletter.
Not to mention that Durant's manager, Rick Kleiman, stressed that the star has "no idea" where he wants to play next season on Tuesday.
The Clippers, like the Knicks, are expected to make a big splash in free agency, though much of the buzz there has focused on luring Kawhi Leonard away from Toronto. Los Angeles retained special consultant Jerry West, general manager Michael Winger, and assistant general manager Trent Redden, after all three built a strong team mixed with youth and veterans.
With over $59 million in practical cap space, the Clippers can't be ruled out to steal Kevin Durant from the Golden State Warriors and Knicks this offseason. But that's only if he declines his $31 million option from the Warriors first.