NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant Won’t Join LeBron James On Lakers In 2019-20 If He Wins 3rd Title, Per Chris Mannix

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He may have just re-signed with the Golden State Warriors earlier in the 2018 NBA offseason, but there are many rumors suggesting that Kevin Durant might team up with LeBron James and join the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2019-20 NBA season as he opts out of his final year with the Warriors. However, a leading NBA journalist believes that might not be likely if Durant achieves one thing in the coming season with Golden State – win a third straight NBA championship since coming over from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the summer of 2016.

Speaking on a recent episode of the Good N’ Plenty podcast with Jeff Goodman, Yahoo Sports NBA writer Chris Mannix predicted that a lot of teams will be showing interest in Durant next offseason, as he decides on whether to opt in or out of the final year of the two-year contract he recently signed to remain in Golden State. As quoted by Bleacher Report, Mannix believes there’s a chance the interest in Durant won’t be as high as it was in the 2016 offseason, though many teams are still expected to be clamoring for his services.

Regarding the rumors of Kevin Durant joining LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019-20, Mannix doubted the possibility of such a deal going down, as he believes “KD” won’t have any reason to team up with LeBron if he ends up winning a third consecutive NBA championship with the Warriors. Instead, Durant might want to remain in the Bay Area and strive to become that player who surpasses James’ accomplishments in the NBA.

“I’m of the belief that if he gets his third championship, he’s not going to want to play alongside LeBron James, Kevin Durant’s gonna wanna be the player who eclipses LeBron James. You don’t wanna go and play with somebody and help him win championships if you’re on Durant level. You wanna be…the guy. I think that’s gonna keep him out of L.A.”

Talk linking Kevin Durant to LeBron James and a possible move to the Lakers heated up last week, as the superstar forward spoke to The Undefeated‘s Marc Spears and referred to James’ decision to sign a four-year contract with the Lakers as a “perfect move” that he loved.

In the days that followed, Fox Sports 1‘s Colin Cowherd chimed in on his thoughts on Durant, his recent praise for LeBron, and his possible plans to enter free agency in the summer of 2019. While Cowherd did not specifically tease the possibility of Durant becoming a Laker, Clutch Points was one of multiple publications that interpreted the Herd host’s comments as a sign Durant might opt out of the second season of his two-year Warriors deal and sign with the Lakers next offseason.