Well, here’s a rumor no one saw coming. But it’s out there, so let’s talk about it. According to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, LeBron James texted Kevin Durant about the possibility of teaming up together on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Smith was on First Take when he dropped the news. Take a listen:
“I got two phone calls last night, after hours,” Smith began. “With folks telling me that LeBron James reached out to Kevin Durant . . . that guy, who just spent the last two years beating LeBron James in the NBA Finals. Well LeBron James reached out to Kevin Durant via text, from what I’m told, about coming to Los Angeles.”
There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get started. First, the source. Smith gets a lot of flack for his demeanor, and it’s definitely worth remembering that he’s a talking head, not a reporter. That said, he does have a lot of sources and connections in the industry, and generally isn’t reckless. Or rather, isn’t reckless when citing sources.
Second, and most important, is the possibility (or lack thereof) of this transpiring. Durant has repeatedly said that he will re-sign with the Golden State Warriors, and there really is no reason to think that would change. He didn’t just join Golden State because of Stephen Curry; he joined because of the culture, the team, the coaches, the style, and the location. There’s no indication that he just wants to play with a great player (and he’s already playing with one!).
And third, after all the jokes about Draymond Green recruiting Durant, this story is pretty delicious. You can’t blame James for wanting to team up with a great player who happens to be his friend - I’d do the same thing, and I suspect you would as well. But it’s still funny.
In all likelihood, Durant will return to the Warriors as soon as he can sign a new contract. If James wants to team up with another star forward in Los Angeles, it will likely be Paul George or Kawhi Leonard (or both!).
Oh, NBA offseason. You never let us down!
UPDATE: A Cavs reporter is refuting this rumor.
Sources close to LeBron: He didn't text KD and his going to the Lakers would not be sealed (or doomed) by whether or not they trade for Kawhi. ... Man, we'll all be better when this is over, one way or the other— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) June 28, 2018