While there has been plenty of speculation linking Kevin Durant to the New York Knicks in free agency this summer, a new contender reportedly has emerged for the Golden State Warriors star.
"Within the last month, very smart and plugged-in people I have consulted say that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the Knicks to sign Durant away from Golden State," Marc Stein of the New York Times wrote Tuesday. "And I believe it."
However, Stein added that at this point, industry insiders are doing guesswork since Durant has played things close to the vest.
"Problem is, at various points during the season, I have heard trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant is already planning to join the Knicks … and then that he is likely to consider the Nets as well … and now that he is eyeing the Clippers just as intently as New York."
Durant can enter free agency this offseason by declining his $31.5 million option for 2019-20.
Despite all of the rumors, Durant's manager, Rich Kleiman, said the Warriors star still doesn't know where he'll sign this summer:
The 30-year-old will be in high demand once he hits the open market, and many interested teams have plenty of money to spend.
According to Spotrac, the Knicks, Nets and Clippers all have more than $50 million in practical cap space this summer, putting them among the league leaders in that category. All three of those teams could afford Durant and add more talent to turn themselves into legitimate contenders.
All three are also located in major markets.
Durant may consider how well each team is set up for success, which would seem to favor the Clippers and Nets, both of whom made the playoffs last season. Meanwhile, the Knicks had the league's worst record in 2018-19 and haven't reached the postseason for six straight seasons.
The Clippers have plenty of young talent on their roster and proved their potential by taking the Warriors to six games in the first round of this year's playoffs. If Durant heads to L.A. in the offseason, the Clips could go on a deep postseason run next year.