Most of the speculation about Kevin Durant’s future has been about him joining the New York Knicks when he becomes a free agent June 30.
But a friend and ex-teammate of Durant’s mentioned another possible destination for the Golden State Warriors superstar, who is currently out with a calf injury while his team steamrolls to another championship.
And Kendrick Perkins’ take is not based on speculation, it’s based on a conversation he said he had with Durant.
“Don’t be surprised if KD signs with the Clippers,” Perkins told Fox Sports 1’s Kristine Leahy, host of “Fair Game.” “Everyone keeps screaming New York, but do not be surprised if KD signs and goes to play for Doc (Rivers, Clippers coach).”
We shot this yesterday… Here’s @KendrickPerkins telling us don’t be surprised if @KDTrey5 (his close friend) winds up with the Clippers. Full two part episodes air June 4th and 5th. pic.twitter.com/R4ZDkCmCaN
— Kristine Leahy (@KristineLeahy) May 22, 2019
When jokingly asked if he would help his old coach, Rivers — who coached Perkins from 2004 to 2011 when he was with the Boston Celtics — recruit Durant, Perkins had a revealing response.
“I don’t even have to help recruit him,” Perkins said. “He likes the organization, he likes Doc Rivers, he loves Doc Rivers. But me and KD don’t talk about it. … He just happened to throw that out there to me.”
Whether Durant wanted that out there or not, it certainly spins the prevailing speculation about Durant to the Knicks on its head.
Like the Knicks, the Clippers have spent the last few years clearing out salaries to make cap room. They traded away Chris Paul in 2017 to the Houston Rockets and Blake Griffin in 2018 to the Detroit Pistons. LA then let DeAndre Jordan walk after the 2018 season and traded away Tobias Harris, whom it got in the Griffin trade, to the Philadelphia 76ers in February.
Unlike the Knicks, the Clippers have strong ownership, coaching and front office executives. and despite trading away all these pieces, they still went 48-34 and made the playoffs in the tough Western Conference. Durant arguably would be walking into a better situation with the Clippers.
Perkins — who played with Durant in Oklahoma City from 2011 to 2015 — also appeared Wednesday on FS1’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” and talked more about Durant.
“Right now, I think KD is just living in the moment,” Perkins told Cowherd. “I don’t think KD knows what he want to do, but on the flip side of it, if I’m KD, I think I would really consider going to the Clippers. Because with the Clippers – with the new ownership (Steve Ballmer), I love what he’s doing, the front office, with Lawrence Frank and Michael Winger, are doing a great job. Doc did a hell of a job this year with this group of guys.
“By the way, he told me that was his second-favorite team to the 2008 Celtics because guys bought in. He said he didn’t want the season to end it was so fun.
“To me, you look at the Clipper organization, even add Jerry West, the legend, and you look at them, and the stability. … You could see Kevin Durant going there. It’s in LA, he could flourish and be himself and it would be his team. And I would love to see KD play for a coach like Doc Rivers and the assistant coaches. … I can just imagine the plays he would call for Kevin Durant.”
Durant’s business manager, Rich Kleiman, said Tuesday that he is “100 percent undecided” about his future.
Kevin Durant is “100 percent undecided” on where he’s playing next, his manager @RichKleiman says at The #WSJFuture Of Everything Festival. “He really doesn’t know, and I really don’t know.” pic.twitter.com/1fEw2kYZqm
— WSJ Sports (@WSJSports) May 21, 2019
But it sounds like the Clippers are on his radar.
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