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NBA free agency begins on Sunday, and Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant already has a short list of teams his camp is planning to engage, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
That list is reportedly the Warriors, the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers. So basically, Durant’s current team and the teams of the NBA’s biggest media markets.
Story filed to ESPN: Golden State’s Kevin Durant is planning to engage four teams in discussions upon the opening of NBA free agency on Sunday – the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Warriors, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2019
Per Wojnarowski, Durant’s decision-making process could extend well into next week.
Durant declined his player option for the 2019-20 season earlier this week and will officially be one of the most coveted free agents on the market, no matter his health.
A ruptured Achilles tendon took some of the excitement away from Durant’s destination, as the superstar will likely spend most, if not all, of the first year of any contract rehabbing the injury. There’s also no guarantee Durant will be his unstoppable scoring self when he returns due to the bleak history of the injury.
Still, players like Durant are rare, even with the injury. If Durant returns even close to his former self, he’s capable of contending for a title. That may be easier with some teams than others, though.
Where will Kevin Durant land in free agency?
None of these teams are too surprising if you’ve been following the breadcrumbs of Durant’s impending decision. Even with their reported locker room friction, the Warriors were always going to be a player for Durant.
The Knicks were widely considered to be a favorite for Durant during the season, especially after the team dealt Kristaps Porzingis and cleared the cap space necessary for two max free agents. The Nets also emerged as a player thanks to their New York City location and dalliance with Kyrie Irving, whom Durant has been rumored to be interested in joining forces.
There was also noise around the Clippers making a big splash in free agency, though the team seems to be more interested in Kawhi Leonard at this point. The team was one of many that pursued Durant when he hit free agency in 2016, and the strength of their pitch then could reportedly help now, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Even injured, Durant has options, and figures to sign a max contract for whichever team he wants.
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