Mitch Kupchak explains why the L.A. Lakers didn't pursue Kevin Durant

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Football News

Kevin Durant's future was the biggest saga of free agency this summer before he signed with the Golden State Warriors.

The 2015 champions were able to woo him with their proposal during a sit-down meeting and fought off competition from the Oklahoma City Thunder, L.A. Clippers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, while a number of other franchises were unsuccessful in their attempts to chat with the forward.

New York was one of the organisations who were unable to entice Durant, despite his interest in the Big Apple following Derrick Rose's trade. But quite surprisingly, one franchise who did not even attempt to attract the 2014 Most Valuable Player was the L.A. Lakers.

It's quite simple really. Despite having bundles of cap space following the retirement of Kobe Bryant, the famous organisation from California are realistic about where they stand at this moment in time.

As Mitch Kupchak put it, via CSN Bay Area: "Everybody wants to meet with the best players in the world. We understand where we are as a team. We're a very young team, that's that probably not, with some degree of certainty, not going to win the championship next year.

"Veteran players that are great players, the clock is ticking and most of the time, they've made their money, they're going to get their money wherever they go. But the game gets harder as you get older and you don't just play for the money. The money is great, but you want to play to win. Because it's a long season and the playoffs go on for a long time and it's year in, year out. It's challenging."

Big markets are no longer the draw they used to be, and Kupchak is right in saying Durant is striving to add rings to his collection of accolades.

The Warriors can offer him an instant shot at success and are the odds-on favourites to lift the Larry O'Brien trophy in June '17. But the future certainly looks brighter for the Lakers; after three years of struggle, their young guns are coming to the fore. Behind D'Angelo Russell, who is lighting up the Summer League, they should be embarking upon a better period.

Western Conference
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division

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