Free agency does not start until July 1 but rumors are swirling that Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks has secretly started to lure Kevin Durant to also consider playing with his team next season.
Durant, who is an unrestricted free agent, is in New York a week ahead of the official unveiling of the roster of Team USA for the coming Rio Olympics. Durant has been in close contact with Anthony, who is his high school buddy, giving the opportunity to sell the Knicks which is also hoping to pitch an offer with Durant.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the situation gives Anthony the opportunity to work out with Durant and at the same time talk about the current situation with the free agency. Though Anthony stressed that they talk about it but he is not forcing issues towards Durant. He knows that his friend will be able to make the right decision come July 1.
“We’re friends. We hang out,” Anthony said. “It’s magnified now because he’s a free agent and we’re in New York. But last year, nobody was talking about us hanging out, going to work out or going to dinner or things like that. So, yeah, those conversations do come up, but it’s not something that I’m constantly on him, throwing at him because I was in that situation before.”
Anthony cherishes his friendship with Durant and noted that the best thing with the both of them is that no pressure is being given to each other when it comes to their profession. Durant added that aside from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Clippers have secured a personal meeting with him when free agency formally opens. Durant has not disclosed the place where he would meet the said teams.
”You know, for me, it’s more just about just laying it all out for him. Giving him the real. Being in that situation before and knowing how much he has to think about and what he has gone through, him not wanting to leave Oklahoma [after] all the time that he spent there, I felt the same way when I was in Denver, spending 7½ years there and then to have to make a decision. But you leave it up to him. He’s going to make the best decision for him. I think that’s the most important thing,” Anthony explained.
Aside from Anthony and Durant, also named to the official lineup for Team USA are Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes; Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan; Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving; Indiana’s Paul George; Chicago’s Jimmy Butler; Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins; and the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan.
For Durant, he is trying to focus both on the coming free agency and the preparations for the Summer Olympics. He adds that the Knicks have a solid roster now with the addition of Derrick Rose through a trade. Durant noted that the Knicks were not in the list of teams that had a scheduled meeting with him, but will try to reconsider if they would give a pitch.
Obviously, they have a good team now with D-Rose and Melo and Porzingis,” Durant said. “I’m going to talk to my team and we’ll figure things out.”
No matter what happens after the free agency season, one thing is for sure both Anthony and Durant will still be friends. Aside from that, they have a mission and that is to defend the gold medal in the men’s basketball when they suit up for Team USA in the coming Rio Olympics that will be from Aug. 5 to 22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.