Like nearly any team with cap space (or even those that don’t have it, in the case of the Los Angeles Clippers), the Los Angeles Lakers would very much like to sign Kevin Durant. The Oklahoma City Thunder forward is almost unquestionably the best available free agent this summer, a player so talented that even the 73-win juggernaut Golden State Warriors are willing to break up their core to add him.
The Lakers did not make the initial list of teams he plans to meet with, but an unnamed team source expressed confidence to Chris Broussard of ESPN on Tuesday that the team would surely get a chance to meet with Durant.
Well, things aren’t looking so great on that front. Gambling service Bovada gives the purple and gold 66/1 to one odds to land Durant, and if Broussard’s latest report on the situation is to be believed, even that estimate might be a bit optimistic:
Despite their hopes, Lakers will not get a meeting with KD, sources say.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 29, 2016
Ouch. That has to sting just a bit, but also might be a blessing in disguise for Los Angeles. The team was always an extreme longshot to land Durant anyway, and given the front office’s pattern over the last couple of seasons of missing out on solid contributors while reaching for the stars, their pursuit of Durant ending before it even truly began may allow the team to lock in a few helpful players before they sign elsewhere.
Instead of looking for quick fixes, the Lakers are going to have to continue their attempts to be patient with the development of their young players and build more organically. That may not be what some fans want to hear after how miserable the team was for the last three seasons, but with the Lakers primed to show a bit of progress this upcoming year, at least the long journey back will start to get a little more fun.
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