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Kendrick Perkins says Brooklyn now front runner to land Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Two

DALLAS, TX - MAY 19: Kendrick Perkins #5 and Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder wait to enter the game in the third quarter while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 19, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving teaming up in Brooklyn?

Well, it may take a year to get them together on the court — Durant has to recover from his ruptured Achilles — but things may be leaning that way. The Nets have been a frontrunner to land Irving for a while, but now former Durant teammate (and still his friend) Kendrick Perkins says Brooklyn is poised to land two stars. Via Brian Lewis of the New York Post:

Now the Nets are reportedly “gaining confidence” they can land Durant, with Kendrick Perkins flatly saying on ESPN that Brooklyn is in the driver’s seat to sign his former Thunder teammate.

“I think they’re the front-runner. I absolutely do. I think the Nets are the front-runner to land KD,” Perkins said on “The Jump,” with reporter Brian Windhorst joining in and saying Perkins was not the only person involved with the NBA expressing that view.

“I’m not ruling out the Knicks, but I think the Nets are the front-runners and people are not giving them their [respect],” Perkins said. “Sources tell me the Nets are the front-runner.”

With more than a week to go before the free agency clock even starts, things can certainly change. Durant will have plenty of options. It should be noted, however, that Nets GM Sean Marks has been making moves to ensure his team will have the cap room for two max

But Perkins is one of Durant’s favorite former teammates, a guy with great contacts among players, and anything he says has to be taken seriously.

Will the Nets landing Durant and not the Knicks mean we finally have a real rivalry in New York?