Don’t expect LeBron James and Kevin Durant to create the next super team with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer.
“I don’t see (LeBron) and Kevin Durant teaming up together in (Los Angeles),” ESPN’s Chris Broussard said Wednesday morning on Sportscenter. “I asked a person close to that situation yesterday what was the likelihood of that, and they said, ‘Ugh, zero.'”
James just won an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but his two-year deal with the franchise includes a player option for the 2016-17 season. He can opt out and become a free agent if there’s any interest in playing elsewhere next season.
The NBA Finals MVP became the first player to lead a playoff series in points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks, while also powering Cleveland’s never-been-done comeback from 3-1 down to shock the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
Durant, who is a free agent this summer, lost to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
In theory, the two could use the next few months to find a situation that would allow the two NBA MVPs to play together. Los Angeles is a possibility, but a number of factors are working against that Hollywood dream.
For starters, James likely has little interest in leaving Cleveland. He just brought his hometown franchise its first title in 52 years, and Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and the core of the team will return for 2016-17.
Durant also has other plans.
He’s currently a favorite to go back to Oklahoma City for at least another year. The Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are also expected to heavily pursue Durant in free agency.
It’s also unknown if LeBron or Durant would have any interest in the current collection of talent in Los Angeles.
The Lakers, who possess the No. 2 overall pick, are a mashup of young, mostly unproven players. There is still a big rebuild to be completed in Los Angeles, even with Duke’s Brandon Ingram likely to be the second pick.
It’s still early in the process, but the most likely scenario here is James staying in Cleveland and Durant signing a new deal with one of the Western Conference powers.