As reported since the fall, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to partner LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant.
Davis can become a free agent in the summer of 2020.
Per Clutchpoints’ Ashish Mathur: It is widely assumed that Davis will be only a rental player to any team that trades for him besides the Lakers. However, there have been reports which have claimed that AD wouldn’t mind signing an extension with the New York Knicks or Milwaukee Bucks.
Some believe that KD may think differently after an interview with Bleacher’s Report where KD labeled playing with LeBron James as toxic and admitted that the attention LeBron James receives isn’t his fault.
“So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people,” said Durant.
“He has so many fanboys in the media. Even the beat writers just fawn over him. I’m like, we’re playing basketball here, and it’s not even about basketball at certain points. So I get why anyone wouldn’t want to be in that environment because it’s toxic. Especially when the attention is bullshit attention, fluff. It’s not LeBron’s fault at all; it’s just the fact you have so many groupies in the media that love to hang on every word. Just get out of the way and let us play basketball.”
Was this a signal that KD won’t join LeBron James and the Lakers this summer?
Durant signed a two-year, $61.5 million contract with the Warriors and has the option to opt out ahead of the 2019-20 season, per Spotrac.
“LeBron is here for a lot of the same reasons,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said recently.
“This is a LA operation. If you want to expand into entertainment, this is where you do it. You don’t necessarily go to New York.”
If Durant were to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers next offseason, it would leave them a minimum of two years to play together.
The Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019 where several NBA superstars like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan are expected to become unrestricted free agents.
“The Lakers are gunning for the biggest names,” a source familiar with the Los Angeles Lakers’ thinking told me this fall.
“LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis in LA. It’s all part of the plan.”