Kevin Durant changed the basketball landscape when he signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2016, and it produced easy back-to-back NBA championship rings.
The idea of Durant leaving the the Warriors sounds crazy, considering no other team is anywhere close to touching them, and he can easily win another two or three rings. Durant fronted the Golden State offense in 2017 and '18, winning the NBA Finals MVP award on top of his first two championships.
But according to NBA journalist Brandon Robinson, a source believes Durant will join forces with LeBron James and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers next offseason. The source made it sound like it's virtually a done deal:
Spoke to a source today who confirmed Kevin Durant will be a LA Laker next year.— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) September 17, 2018
“Just like LeBron planned his move LA a year or more earlier, #KD is doing the same right now. They want to form the best duo in the NBA and set up KD to be the face of the Lakers post-#LeBron.” pic.twitter.com/BWR9TOWPMZ
Durant has a $31.5 million player option for the 2019-20 season, per Spotrac.com. It's a common practice for players like Durant to opt out of their contract and simply re-sign a more lucrative short-term deal.
It's worth noting that ESPN's Stephen A. Smith reported back in June that James texted Durant to see if he'd want to play together in Los Angeles. That was before James officially signed with the Lakers.
Durant's decision to join the Warriors led to plenty of negative reactions from fans and NBA prognosticators. If he were to leave his team once again in order to form another super team elsewhere, Durant would surely receive even more criticism from the basketball world.
That being said, the idea of joining James may be too good of an opportunity for Durant to pass up. These are the top two basketball players in the world, and two of the top-10 of all-time.
And for what it's worth, many top 2019 free agents are already being linked to the Lakers. Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler have been mentioned as possible LeBron sidekicks down the road. It's not as though every major NBA free agent will join the Lakers next year.
If Durant and the Warriors win another championship in 2019, which is a virtual lock at this point, it's tough to envision him leaving his team in the midst of a dynasty run. But we have seen crazier things happen in the NBA, so absolutely anything is possible.