NEW YORK — Kevin Durant has long been rumored to be joining the New York Knicks this July. The LA Clippers could also be a possibility. So could the Brooklyn Nets.
There’s also the chance he stays with the Golden State Warriors, who advanced to their fifth consecutive NBA Finals.
So really, no one knows what Durant’s going to do. Apparently, not even Durant.
At least that’s what his agent, Rich Kleiman, said during the Wall Street Journal‘s The Future of Everything Festival on Tuesday night.
Kleiman, a New York native, told Jason Gay that his client isn’t thinking about his free agency right now.
“No, no, no,” Kleiman said. “That is 100 percent undecided. I’m waiting on Kevin. That’s the truth. I think there’s a feeling that this thing is like war games and everybody is playing chess years out.
“But when somebody gets to the level of basketball that he’s at, you can’t juggle focus like that. There’s so many things he’s juggling too. He’s not scripting his future while he’s playing the way he plays and practicing the way he’s practicing.”
Durant is trying to rehab from a strained right calf suffered during the Western Conference semifinals. There’s no specific timetable as to when he could rejoin the Warriors.
Golden State will take on the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks-Toronto Raptors series in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on May 30.
Durant’s immediate future is as murky as his long-term future.
Kevin Durant (Photo: Ben Margot, AP)
The Knicks have long been considered a potential destination for Durant, especially since they created enough cap space in January for two max free agents. The rumors of a possible Durant-Kyrie Irving pairing have persisted.
But the Nets also have an appealing situation, and so do the Clippers. Both teams could potentially add another max free agent with some additional maneuvers.
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And then there are the Warriors, who can offer Durant more money than any other team — not to mention the chance to contend well into the future.
If it’s true that Durant is sensitive to the perception that he took the easy route to a championship by joining the loaded Warriors and he wants to carve out his own legacy, then Golden State’s playoff success without him might not be helping.
Joining another team, especially the struggling Knicks, would show Durant isn’t afraid of a challenge.
But only Durant knows his true motivations. A lot could change once he gets in front of teams and hears their free agency pitches come July.
Rumors, speculation and theories are going to continue to fly until then.
“I think it’s frustrating honestly, at times,” Kleiman said Tuesday night. “But I get it, I do get it. Even as a kid, the soap opera of it all was just beginning, and I liked it. Now, in some ways it’s more soap opera at times than basketball. But he really doesn’t know, and I really don’t know.”