Kevin Durant, who will begin meeting teams next weekend, is not expected to grant hometown team Wizards a face-to-face despite their recent hiring of former Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
The Wizards, league sources opined, had bolstered their chances of landing Durant after signing Brooks in April. However, Sam Amick of USA Today, who has extensively covered the former MVP during the last few years, has reported that Durant’s hometown team won’t be getting a meeting.
Kevin Durant to ignore Wizards, Lakers
“Despite years of speculation about Durant possibly signing with his hometown Washington Wizards or the Los Angeles Lakers, a person with knowledge of his situation told USA TODAY Sports that those two teams are not expected to land a meeting with the former MVP,” Amick wrote on Saturday.
ESPN’s Mark Stein has also confirmed that Washington is out of the Durant sweepstakes. “Sources say Durant’s hometown Washington Wizards are likewise pessimistic about their chances of emerging as a real factor in the Durant sweepstakes, despite the recent hiring of former Thunder coach Scott Brooks,” Stein reported on Friday.
Earlier this year, popular ESPN analyst Stephen A Smith reported that Durant had no interest in the Wizards. “The only thing that I’ve been told definitely about Kevin Durant is the Washington Wizards are out of the mix. He is not interested in going to play for his hometown team,” said Smith.
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“Nobody (from Durant’s inner circle) has been definitive about where he’s going to go. But they have been definitive about him not going to Washington D.C.,” added the veteran reporter.
Stein also reported that Golden State Warriors will be represented by reigning MVP Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson during their meeting with Durant at an undisclosed location next week. Similarly, the San Antonio Spurs would be represented by coach Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan.
Meanwhile, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical has reported that “Durant’s representatives at Roc Nation are working to solidify invitations with the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Thunder, league sources said.”
Kevin Durant is expected to leave the country on a publicity tour starting on July 9. Therefore, the free agency decision is expected before his departure. Most league insiders reckon that Durant is expected to remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder on a short-term deal.