Zach Lowe: Kevin Durant Needs to Sign with Lakers to Even the Field for LeBron

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2018

CLEVELAND, CA - JUN 8:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors passes the ball against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals won 108-85 by the Golden State Warriors over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena on June 6, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
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ESPN NBA analyst Zach Lowe said the most emphatic way for LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers to challenge the Golden State Warriors is convincing Kevin Durant to flip sides next offseason.

On Thursday, Lowe stated during the latest edition of The Lowe Post podcast with Bleacher Report's Howard Beck and ESPN's Rachel Nichols that KD heading to L.A. in 2019 is the "single best play to even the playing field for LeBron."

Durant and James have been utilizing a similar approach in recent years. They've signed a series of "1+1" contracts—a two-year deal with the second season being a player option—to maintain flexibility and control over their future.

The 29-year-old Warriors superstar continued that trend this month by re-signing with the Warriors on a deal that includes $30 million for the 2018-19 season, per Spotrac.

James opted for a deal that includes three guarantees years with the Lakers, though. His presence with Los Angeles through at least the 2020-21 campaign should help the front office convince other players, including potentially Durant, to join the squad.

It's unclear whether two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP would be interested in leaving the Dubs' budding dynasty to join what could be their biggest rival for the foreseeable future, however.

On last week's podcast, Lowe said Durant will "100 percent" be the main target for the New York Knicks during next year's free-agent frenzy.

James' extended commitment to the Lakers means KD should be the most coveted player available next summer should he decide to opt out and seriously consider other options rather than quickly agreeing to a new contract with the Warriors.

The Lakers and Knicks will have no shortage of competition on the open market if that happens.

    

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