Kevin Durant says joining LeBron James, Lakers is not for everybody
The Los Angeles Lakers thought they were in for a boon when they secured a four-year, $154 million agreement with LeBron James to bring his talents to the West Coast, yet the master recruiter did not attract any big-time free agents to join him in La La Land. Kevin Durant, who has tested his mettle against James in three NBA Finals, noted that joining James isn’t for everybody, as some players stand to lose more than they could gain by rubbing elbows with The King.
“It depends on what kind of player you are,” Durant told Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. “If you’re Kyle Korver, then it makes sense. Because Kyle Korver in Atlanta was the bulk of the offense, and he’s not a No. 1 option at all, not even close. So his talents benefit more from a guy who can pass and penetrate and get him open.”
The Lakers misfired on one of their primary targets in Paul George, who was on their radar even before James became a possibility once Kyrie Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics. They could have swung and missed on another, as they weren’t aggressive enough pursuing Kawhi Leonard, as the Toronto Raptors and even the neighbor LA Clippers stand a better chance to sign him in the offseason.
“If you’re a younger player like a Kawhi, trying to pair him with LeBron James doesn’t really make sense,” said Durant. “Kawhi enjoys having the ball in his hands, controlling the offense, dictating the tempo with his post-ups; it’s how he plays the game. A lot of young players are developing that skill. They don’t need another guy.”
James suffocates so much of the offense that it drowns some of the other players’ strengths, as it has proven with second-year standout Brandon Ingram (now in his third season) and Lonzo Ball, who has yet to reach the full array of his potential as a second-year player.
It would be tough to imagine a star player being completely willing to join James at this stage of his career, given the battle with Father Time has started, now only 25 days away from his 34th birthday and a potential decline in the coming years of his career.