Lakers rumored to be Durant's 'primary objective,' because of course they are

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Kevin Durant surveys the floor and his future. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant surveys the floor and his future. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)

Let the grand slinging-of-stuff-against-the-wall begin!

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On ESPN’s “First Take” Tuesday morning, Stephen A. Smith said that sources have told him [Kevin] Durant’s preferred landing spot is the Los Angeles Lakers if he does not re-sign with the [Oklahoma City] Thunder next summer.

“Regardless of how senseless it may (sound), in one breath I’m hearing that if Kevin Durant doesn’t stay in Oklahoma City, L.A. is his primary objective and landing spot as opposed to South Beach or even his home of Washington, D.C.,” Smith said.

That longshot got a longer chaser Wednesday, thanks to noted talker Colin Cowherd:

Stephen A. Smith said his sources tell him Kevin Durant prefers the Lakers in free agency at this moment. And I'm here to tell you ... he knows what he's talking about. He knows what he's talking about. And I'll tell you this: this is happening. I absolutely believe this.

Cowherd goes on to list the reasons for his belief:

• Skepticism that, boatloads of speculation to the contrary, the former NBA Most Valuable Player and Oklahoma City Thunder star really wants to follow in LeBron James' "I'm going home" footsteps and play with his hometown Washington Wizards (which, to be fair, seems reasonable);

• Unremarkable attendance at Wizards games (which seems peripheral at best, since you'd better believe that whichever team employs KD will draw packed houses);

• Los Angeles' status as an NBA epicenter and a Laker town (which has worked wonders for the Lakers over the past several summers);

• The death-warmed-over take that Durant and Russell Westbrook don't fit together (asked and answered, counselor); and

• The belief that Durant will find himself more interested in playing with the young troika of D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson than in playing with Westbrook and Serge Ibaka (okey-doke!).

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Here's where we remind you that the smart money still has Durant staying put in OKC come this summer. And that KD's spoken openly about his interest in being the kind of player who spends his whole career with one franchise. And that you can wash the speculative taste clean out with this August directive from the man himself:

What is the most frustrating aspect of media (and social media) coverage of the NBA? [...]

Kevin Durant: Uh, just, I think we should … you know what, I'm not even going to answer that. I'm not gonna answer that one. Along with Matty Ice [Thunder PR man Matt Tumbleson], I've got two people that I trust with my life, my agent and my manager, who's my best friend as well. I trust them with my life. So if you hear sources or anything, don't believe it if it didn't come from them. I tell them everything. We bounce ideas off each other. We collaborate on a lot of different things. They give me advice. so throughout this year, if you hear sources from anybody, it's not true, unless you hear it from Charlie Bell, Rich Kleiman or Kevin Durant.

I wonder which one of those three tipped off Stephen A.

We're going to see and hear a lot more of this over the course of the next nine months. Oklahoma City's ownership and Thunder general manager Sam Presti know they have one more shot at putting together the brand of championship run that eliminates any potentially lingering doubts about whether or not he should stay in Sooner Country before he hits free agency in July. Every step along the way — every success and every failure; every tweet, Instagram post and suspected side-eye — will be scrutinized like it could be worth nine figures and change the power structure of the NBA ... because, y'know, theoretically, they could.

That's why commentators will keep speculating, and reporters will keep digging, and players will keep recruiting, and fans will keep slaving over what promises to be this NBA season's hottest stove. It's October. It's about to get cold out; get ready for lots of hot air.

And maybe, for the sake of your sanity, when you're trying to weigh and evaluate a reheated soundbite, don't disregard "how senseless it may (sound)."

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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