By now, everyone knows the three team shortlist (Warriors, Spurs, and Thunder) that truly capture the eye of marquee franchise free agent Kevin Durant, but now reports from Los Angeles claim that Durant and his agent will meet with the Clippers organization across the country in New York.
Durant has spent much of the offseason so far in New York where the 2013-14 Regular Season MVP attended the unveiling of the 2016 Rio Olympic's 12-man squad under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. In the early hours of Friday morning on July 1st, the beginning of the free agency period when Durant can actually meet with other organizations, Durant has scheduled the Clippers, in addition to 5 other playoff franchises, to have a face-to-face meeting.
The Clippers provide an interesting scenario, especially when considering the role that Sixth Man of the Year free Jamal Crawford plays as a free agent this offseason. While the Clippers will definitely pursue Durant as hard as they can, Clipper head coach and president Doc Rivers must keep in mind how important retaining Crawford is to this Clippers roster and the cap space limitations associated with Crawford's deal.
The Clippers also find themselves on the cusp of championship level teams, specifically the first three teams (Warriors, Spurs, and Thunder) to capture a face-to-face meeting with the superstar forward. However, the Clippers do have much to offer Durant in terms of elevating to the championship level play while still giving Durant keys to a franchise and the opportunity to be a sole franchise leader.
Unlike the Warriors and the Spurs, the Clippers can sell a championship dream with Durant directly at the helm, whereas the Warriors and the Spurs offer championship teams that need a smaller boost to realize a dynasty. While Durant's decision has remained publicly “basketball-oriented”, the Clippers will most definitely try to tempt Durant with the dream of Los Angeles superstardom and a championship ready squad with a healing star point guard Chris Paul and returning star forward Blake Griffin.
However, Durant's decision to host the Clippers meeting in New York after previously agreeing to meet suitors in Los Angeles provides a little more suspicion as to how serious Durant and his team are considering the Clippers and their offer. Durant's decision to host either most if not all his interviews in New York, not only raises some eyebrows about the Western conference suitors, but also feeds into the New York free agency frenzy. There are also reports that Durant is spending significant time with Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony.
Nevertheless, Durant is expected to meet with the detailed six organizations through the early hours of Friday, July 1st, and while the Clippers own a long shot in the race for Durant, NBA free agency has produced some wilder twists in the past. As Durant makes this big decision, the whole league has to simply wait and watch as the NBA's looming future hangs in the balance.
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