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Pat Beverley Says He Hopes Kevin Durant Stays in His Conference in Free Agency

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2019

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, right, smiles as Los Angeles Clippers' Patrick Beverley guards him during the second half in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, April 13, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley has never been one to shy away from a challenge, and his view on Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant seems to support that.

Appearing Friday on ESPN's The Jump (beginning at 2:50), Beverley said, "I hope so," when asked if he thinks Durant will play in the same conference as him next season:

Durant can become a free agent during the offseason, and he has been linked to multiple teams in both conferences, including the Warriors, Clippers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

Like Durant, Beverley can also sign elsewhere during the offseason as a free agent, meaning it is unclear where either player will be when the 2019-20 season commences.

Beverley was primarily tasked with covering KD during the Clippers' first-round playoff series against Golden State. Although he held Durant to an average of just 22 points per game in the first two games of the series, Durant went off for 41.5 per contest over the next four, and Golden State won the series in six games.

Durant and Beverley had some physical battles during the playoffs, and Beverley seemed to get under KD's skin at times. Durant was eventually able to flip the switch, though, and Beverley left believing that the reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP is the top player in the world:

NBA TV @NBATV

"He is the best player in the NBA hands down. It's not close." - Patrick Beverley on KD #GameTime https://t.co/LfG7QN3dkK

KD is out for the remainder of Golden State's second-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets with a calf strain. The Rockets are down 3-2 in the series, but if they come back to win, it is possible Durant has played his final game for the Dubs.

Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Friday there is a "recent sense" among some in the Warriors organization that Durant could rethink leaving and instead re-sign with Golden State.

Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher said last month on FS1's The Herd with Colin Cowherd that he believes Durant to the Knicks is a virtual lock:

SNY's Anthony Puccio reported last month the Nets are expected to draw some consideration from Durant, while ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said on First Take that he heard the Clippers have a "better than 50 percent chance" to sign both Durant and Kawhi Leonard.

The possibility exists that Durant and Beverley could be teammates in L.A. next season. They could also continue their rivalry if both players re-sign with their current teams, or they could end up in separate conferences altogether.

Regardless of where they sign, Durant figures to dominate headlines this offseason, while Beverley could be among the most significant under-the-radar signings because of his defensive acumen.

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