The Los Angeles Lakers aren't among the first batch of teams set to meet with the big prize in NBA Free Agency this summer in Kevin Durant, and it doesn't sound like they have much of a chance at signing the headlining act of July 1. The Lakers have "no shot" at signing Durant, according to what USA Today's Sam Amick has been told early in the process.
Durant has meetings with the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics lined up. The New York Knicks are a dark horse after their acquisition of Derrick Rose, according to Amick, but it remains unclear whether they'll land a meeting with the crown jewel of free agency.
Durant's hometown Washington Wizards are also in the cold as things currently stand. Here's an excerpt on what Amick had to say about the Durant decision, via USA TODAY Sports:
Despite years of speculation about Durant possibly signing with his hometown Washington Wizards or the Los Angeles Lakers, a person with knowledge of his situation told USA TODAY Sports that those two teams are not expected to land a meeting with the former MVP. As it stands, it's the six aforementioned teams coming Durant's way at a location that has not yet been determined....
Barring an unforeseen change in which a meeting is granted as a way of helping a franchise save face, this development will come as quite a blow to the Lakers group that spent the past few years planning with Durant's free agency in mind. There are other free agency fish in the sea, to be sure, but none with the starpower of a Durant. As for the Wizards, they're taking the two-track approach: patiently waiting on Durant's call with hopes of being surprised while moving on with their non-Durant free agency plans so as not to be slowed down by a pipe dream.
The Lakers are reportedly focused on acquiring a center to complement the young core they've compiled, but not even getting a meeting with Durant certainly feels like a blow. It could help their free agency process on the other hand, knowing that their Durant dream is dead before committing time and resources to it.
Free agency doesn't officially begin until July 1 and anything can shift, but the outlook on Durant landing in a purple and gold jersey appears incredibly unlikely for now.