In case you haven’t heard, Kevin Durant is a Golden State Warrior. That’s right, you heard it here first (not really, but just go with it). The team that won 73 games in the regular season and lost after being up 3 games to 1, got Kevin Durant. Prior to the announcement that Kevin Durant would be going to the Bay Area, he had meetings with teams including one from Los Angeles, which was unfortunately the Clippers.
The Los Angeles Lakers sadly did not get a meeting, despite ESPN’s Chris Broussard’s report that an anonymous team official said “I can’t imagine Durant wouldn’t talk to us”.
Despite their hopes, Lakers will not get a meeting with KD, sources say.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 29, 2016
This caused an uproar with fans of the purple and gold everywhere. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne went on to say that Durant should give the Lakers “a meeting out of respect“. Whatever that means.
Monday afternoon, after the first Team USA practice, Durant was asked some questions. One of them was regarding his snub of the Lakers:
Durant on Lakers: "I really respect their team, but I think they're a couple years away from where I want to be."
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) July 18, 2016
If Durant is playing to win a title, there is no better place than with Stephen Curry and the Warriors. The “win now” mindset would attract any player to the Warriors as they are poised to make another title run in the upcoming season.
The Lakers still have a young nucleus of D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle to develop. As much potential as there is between those players, they will not be a contender next season. Durant not wanting to play through a rebuild is completely justified. These young players still have a lot to prove if they want to attract free agents like Kevin Durant.
A couple of years from now, if these players reach their potential, the Lakers will be able to get meetings with marquee free agents who have their sights set on winning a title. Patience is the key here. This group of players has the opportunity to be very special, and one day they’ll hopefully be contenders of their own.