Golden State’s Kevin Durant is planning to engage four teams in discussions upon the opening of NBA free agency on Sunday — the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Warriors, league sources tell ESPN.
There’s expected to be some combination of face-to-face meetings and communications by other means with Durant and his business manager, Rich Kleiman, front-office sources told ESPN.
Durant’s decision-making process could extend well into next week, league sources told ESPN.
Durant invited teams for more formal presentations as a free agent in 2016, but he and Kleiman’s level of knowledge on the teams, owners, executives and roster offerings suggest a less formal face-to-face process may be necessary this time. Durant and Kleiman have been in New York since the All-NBA star’s surgery to repair a torn Achilles, and plan to communicate with the teams from there, sources said.
Durant declined his $31.5M player option to become an unrestricted free agent. The Warriors are planning to offer him a 5-year, $221M max contract; the Clippers, Knicks and Nets can offer him a four-year, $146M deal.
Durant, a two-time NBA Finals MVP with the Warriors, suffered a torn Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and is expected to need the 2019-20 season to fully rehabilitate the injury. Every team pursuing him is expected to still offer him a full max contract.