It’s generally expected that Kevin Durant will opt out of the final year of his contract with the Golden State Warriors this summer. However, the question of which team he may be joining is still very much up for debate. Several previous reports have linked him to the New York Knicks, while the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers have also been brought up as potential destinations. The Brooklyn Nets, on the other hand, aren’t always thought of as a favorite, though as Yahoo Sports noted, the team will be entering the 2019 offseason with a lot of salary cap space to spend.
Despite their apparent dark horse status, a new report suggests that there could be a few reasons why the Nets could surprise NBA observers and sign Durant this summer. While The New York Post’s report focused on how Nets guard D’Angelo Russell will be one of three NBA players to give Durant a “personal tour” of their NBA teams’ home cities, the outlet also quoted Russell’s teammate, Caris LeVert, as the third-year guard/forward elaborated on how he feels Durant will be a good fit for the Nets if he moves to Brooklyn.
“It speaks to not only what we’ve done this season as a team, but to what D’Angelo has done on the court and also being a leader off the court that guys like Kevin Durant want to be close to him and a part of what he’s doing,” LeVert said, referring at first to Russell’s participation in the tour, which is part of Durant’s Fly By video series.
“I don’t think superstars, especially Kevin, want to be the one who has to carry the whole team, the full load on his own.”
— Complex (@Complex) March 25, 2019
LeVert also suggested that Durant will likely prefer to sign with a team that has a “good” core lineup, culture, and locker room environment, given the fact that he will be turning 31 before the start of the 2019-20 NBA season. He stressed that the Nets are, in his opinion, a team that meets all the criteria he mentioned for Durant to sign.
Furthermore, LeVert explained that Russell, a former No. 2 overall draft pick by the Lakers who played in his first All-Star Game earlier this year, could serve as a strong “selling point” once Durant enters free agency. The 24-year-old wingman said that Russell, who is currently averaging a career-best 20.7 points and 6.9 assists per game, could “lessen the load” for Durant, or for any other superstar free agent who may end up with the Nets this summer.
“They don’t want to be the only one on the team, so that’s very attractive that D’Angelo has elevated himself to that level to play with,” LeVert added.
According to Yahoo Sports, Kevin Durant stands out as a player whose moves are “hard to predict.” But even with the Warriors superstar’s next destination very much up in the air, the outlet opined that signing with the Nets “wouldn’t be a bad idea” for Durant, as opposed to a “horrible” decision like joining the Knicks, who currently sport a league-worst 14-60 win-loss record.