The NBA landscape could look a lot different next season.
But with a number of stars either slated to hit the free-agent market this summer or expected to opt out of their contracts, the dynamic of the league could shift pretty drastically, and based on the latest report, it could shift to Southern California.
No, we aren’t talking about the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Los Angeles Clippers long have been thought to be the favorites to land Kawhi Leonard in free agency, but Stephen A. Smith said Wednesday on ESPN’s “First Take” that he’s hearing there is a “better than 50 percent chance” the Clippers will sign both Leonard and Durant this summer.
Durant, the two-time NBA Finals MVP, has the option to opt out of his current contract with the Warriors this summer — a move that everyone expects him to make.
At the moment, the Clippers have enough salary-cap room to sign one max free agent, but with a little financial maneuvering, they could open a second slot.
As for Durant, he has made a point that he has not yet decided his future. Rumors have swirled all season about the possibility of Durant leaving the Warriors to head to the New York Knicks and join forces with Kyrie Irving, who also can opt out of his contract and become a free agent.
Both the Warriors and Raptors have looked dominant so far in the playoffs, so perhaps Durant and Leonard can discuss their summer plans during what would be an epic NBA Finals matchup.