Despite not being on the list of teams scheduled to meet with free agent Kevin Durant, the Los Angeles Lakers have not abandoned their hopes of landing the superstar forward, according to a person with knowledge of the club’s thinking.
The Lakers intend to contact Durant and his representatives July 1 and are confident they will get a meeting, the source said.
“I can’t imagine Durant wouldn’t talk to us,” the source said. “That would shock me.”
According to ESPN sources and media reports, Durant is scheduled to meet with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers, beginning July 1, the first day free agents are allowed to talk with teams other than their own.
The Lakers believe they have a pitch that will appeal to Durant and other free agents, said the source with knowledge of the team’s thinking. With the ability to clear more than $60 million in cap space, they will attempt to sell stars on the potential of joining the Lakers with another top-tier free agent, the source said.
“We want to pitch guys on combinations, as opposed to just one guy,” the source said. “We’ll say to a guy, ‘Who do you want to play with? We’ve got the room to go get him.'”
The Lakers believe their new coach, the highly regarded Luke Walton, as well as their talented group of young players will be attractive to the top free agents on the market.