NBA free agency isn't set to officially open until Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET, but let's not fool ourselves: Power moves are being made as we speak. Kemba Walker has already reportedly agreed to sign with the Celtics, and Kyrie Irving to the Nets is also all but done, per reports. Now, it appears the two biggest names on the market are discussing the possibility of joining forces.
Reporting w/ @RamonaShelburne: Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard have been discussing free agent scenarios that could include a future with them playing together. For now, there are two clear possibilities for them to sign into the same franchise: Clippers and Knicks. Story soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2019
Let just say this: If Kawhi and Durant were to join up with the Clippers, playing in the same building as LeBron and Anthony Davis in an intra-town battle for NBA supremacy set in Hollywood, it would be the most epic theatre imaginable. For the Clippers to open up two max spaces, they would have to trade Danilo Gallinari, who has one year left on his contract at $22.6 million. As an expiring deal for a good player, that should be plenty tradeable, especially with the future picks the Clippers would have to attach.
The Knicks, on the other hand, don't have to make any moves. They have two max spots already. Durant, as we know, was long linked to the Knicks until he tore his Achilles and everything changed.
The rub of this potential pairing, of course, is that Kawhi and Durant wouldn't actually play together until 2020-21, as Durant is likely out all of next season with the Achilles. Would Kawhi want to wait for Durant on a Knicks team that isn't good? Perhaps it would be more intriguing on a Clippers team that with Kawhi, even without Durant, is a legit team. Then you add Durant in 2020-21 and you shoot to the top of the favorites to win the title.
You can understand the intrigue of this pairing, and there are teams with the means to make it happen. We shall see.