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Stephen A. Smith: LeBron James Texted Kevin Durant About Joining Lakers

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, is defended by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James reportedly sent a text message to Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant about potentially joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

Stephen A. Smith reported the update during Thursday's edition of First Take, per Pablo S. Torre of ESPN.

However, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported James hadn't talked to Durant about joining the Lakers, and noted James joining Los Angeles wasn't dependent on Kawhi joining the team. 

Durant's upcoming foray into free agency this offseason hasn't received nearly as much attention as James' because he previously stated his intention to re-sign with Golden State.

"I'm planning on staying with the Warriors, and we'll figure the rest out," he told ESPN's Rachel Nichols in mid-June.

There's been no indication he's wavered from that stance.

Meanwhile, speculation about James' landing spot continues to heat up.

Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs were engaged in active trade talks about Kawhi Leonard as of Wednesday night, noting a deal for Leonard would "likely clinch a free-agent commitment out of LeBron James."

The Lakers (-155) have emerged as the favorite for the four-time NBA MVP, per OddsShark. They are followed by the Cavs (+200), Philadelphia 76ers (+550), Boston Celtics (+900) and Houston Rockets (+950).

James and Durant teaming up next season in L.A. or elsewhere is an extreme long shot, though.