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Report: Lakers, Hawks trying to get Kevin Durant meetings

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 23: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives on Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on December 23, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Jim Buss was so confident Kevin Durant would sign with the Lakers, Buss told people late last season that it’d happen.

But Durant didn’t even schedule a meeting with the Lakers.

Like the Knicks and unlike the Wizards, the Lakers – and Hawks – are still trying to get on the docket.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Atlanta Hawks’ free-agent priorities are re-signing forward Al Horford and swingman Kent Bazemore, but the Hawks are also trying to wedge their way into the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Hawks, like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, have been working to try to convince Durant and his representatives to grant them a face-to-face recruiting meeting after free agency starts at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, even though their chances appear dim.


Durant scheduled meetings with the teams he believed made the most sense: Thunder, Warriors, Spurs, Celtics, Heat and Clippers. If the Lakers and Hawks get meetings, they could try to persuade him. But it already seems like an uphill climb for Durant’s scheduled suitors outside Oklahoma City and Golden State. The Lakers and Atlanta face even longer odds.

Still, a meeting with Durant accomplishes a few things:

1. It lays the groundwork for 2017 if Durant signs a one-year contract. Maybe the Lakers or Hawks will look more appealing a year from now.

2. It establishes the team as a major player in free agency and might help get other free agents to take notice.

3. It excites fans, who might spend money on the team.