NBA

Kevin Durant.

Report: Kevin Durant has spurned the L.A. Lakers' advances

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Kevin Durant is the most in-demand free agent since LeBron James in 2010, and it appears as though the small forward's desire to be a champion will supersede all other interests when he makes his decision next week.

Durant, who was the league's Most Valuable Player in 2014, hits free agency for the first time in his career on Friday and he has already scheduled meetings with teams he believes can contend for the title with him in their arsenal.

The storied L.A. Lakers are not on that list. For all the glory the Purple and Gold have enjoyed for the past 40-odd years, which makes them the second most successful NBA franchise of all time after the Boston Celtics, they have plummeted to all-time lows in the past three seasons.

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Lakers executives appeared to believe that the illustrious name of the organisation would be attractive to Durant in itself, when combined with the incoming Luke Walton, plenty of cap space and the exciting young core developing on the court.

Even when the famous franchise didn't make Durant's original list of meetings, ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Lakers still harboured hopes of getting a face-to-face with the seven-time All-Star. Broussard confirmed yesterday that the Lakers' hopes had been dashed and KD has spurned their advances.

Really and truly, this shouldn't come as a shock to the Lakers, unless they really believe their name is that big. Coming off a season where they have won just 17 games and, so far, have acquired just the unproven second pick in the NBA draft, there's little to suggest they are going to be a force immediately.

2016 NBA Draft

The very best case scenario for Lakers fans is that they make some prudent free agency recruitments and flirt with the playoffs again this season. And, maybe, in a couple of years, they might become contenders once again.

The 27-year-old Durant isn't prepared to wait for that and why should he? The four-time scoring champion has offers from genuine contenders like the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference and one would think if winning was his priority, then those two are the frontrunners for his signature.

The reliable Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported earlier this week that the majority of team's meeting with Durantula still expect him to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder on a two-year deal with a player option in the second season.

Golden State Warriors v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Six

Most likely, Durant will re-evaluate his options at the climax of the 2016-17 season when teammate Russell Westbrook also hits the open market. He may just be getting a feel for the different visions on the table, but, then again, he might just hear something he likes.

The Durant chaos kicks off in earnest at 12:01 am tomorrow morning.

Topics:
NBA
Western Conference
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Kobe Bryant
Golden State Warriors
Russell Westbrook
Kevin Durant

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