Kevin Durant is by far the biggest name is this year's upcoming free agency. While there was speculation early in the season where KD would go, by the time the playoffs started it was almost certain Durant would be going to the Knicks. Yet it appears as though this one-horse race has gotten a little more competitive with reports that the Los Angeles Clippers are now jockeying for position.
On Tuesday, the New York Times' Marc Stein revealed that the possibility of playing for the Clippers has enticed Durant.
"Within the last month, very smart and plugged-in people I have consulted say the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the Knick to sign Durant away from Golden State," Stein wrote. "And I believe it."
Stein's report completely contradicts the ongoing narrative that KD will settle in the Big Apple. Just last week, Stein himself co-signed Stephen A. Smith's claims that both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are considering teaming up on either the Nets or the Knicks, with the latter being the favorite. That complemented the thoughts of league insiders and NBA executives who have disclosed that it's almost certain KD be calling Madison Square Garden home. Stein acknowledges his previous reports while admitting he too is unclear on the situation.
"Problem is, at various points during the season, I have heard trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant is already planning on joining the Knicks...and then that he is likely to consider the Nets as well," Stein continued. "And now he's eyeing the Clippers just as intently as New York. It leads one to conclude that maybe the best forecast at this moment is that nobody but Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman know."
While Durant and Kleiman could be playing the NBA version of three-card monte if Kleiman does know where Durant will sign, he's not giving any hints. During Wednesday's interview with the Wall Street Journal, Kleiman insisted he's following his client's lead and that KD is still focused on finishing out his playoff run with the Golden State Warriors.
"That is 100 percent undecided and I'm waiting on Kevin," Kleiman stated. "That's the truth. I think there's a feeling that this thing is like war games and everyone's playing chess years out. But, when someone gets to the level of basketball he's at you can't juggle focus like that. There's so many things he's juggling, too. He's not scripting his future while he's playing the way he plays and practices the way he practices."