Kevin Durant Rumors: Nets Aren't 'Front-Runners or Favorites' to Land Star in FA

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 28, 2019

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 10: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against the Toronto Raptors  during Game Five of the NBA Finals on June 10, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets were the four teams on free-agent forward Kevin Durant's potential destination list.

However, per Ian Begley of SNY.tv, the Nets are not the "front-runners or favorites" to land the 10-time All-Star, who averaged 26.0 points on 52.4 percent shooting last season.

Durant suffered a ruptured Achilles during the NBA Finals, and he is expected to miss all of next year. Still, the four-time scoring champion has been a dominant force for his entire 12-year career, landing on nine All-NBA teams and winning the 2013-14 NBA MVP.

Each destination on the 30-year-old's reported list is an intriguing option.

First, the Warriors have been Durant's home for three years, and he's won two NBA Finals and made a third during that span. He can also receive a five-year max deal from the Dubs, an option that his other suitors cannot meet.

The 48-34 Clippers beat the Warriors twice in their own building in the first round of the playoffs sans an established superstar. With a player like Durant in the mix to lead a team of solid veterans and exciting young talent, the Clips could be the team to beat when he returns.

Like the Clips, the Nets are a team on the rise who surprised last year, going 42-40 and giving the Philadelphia 76ers some trouble in the first round. They have one of the best head coaches in the game in Kenny Atkinson and a resilient group of players who sprung some impressive upsets, including a sweep of the 54-28 Denver Nuggets.

Furthermore, he would likely have a chance to play with free-agent point guard Kyrie Irving. The two are close, and Brian Lewis of the New York Post reported Wednesday that Irving is "leaning towards" signing with Brooklyn.

As for the other New York team, the Knicks are not nearly as close to a championship as the others. However, they have a passionate fanbase starving for a winner, and Durant would be a king in New York if he delivered the team's first championship since 1973.

Free agency begins Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.