Teams are tripping over themselves to get a meeting with looming free agent Kevin Durant, and in his position he’s right to go through the process to see what teams besides the Oklahoma City Thunder have to offer. It’s hardly news when rumors of a team’s possible interest in Durant surfaces, and the Atlanta Hawks have now reportedly entered the fold.
Via ESPN’s Marc Stein:
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.
One source of hope for the Hawks, sources say, is the presence of longtime NBA All-Star Grant Hill in their Hawks’ ownership group, with Hill expected to lead Atlanta’s lobbying efforts.
If Durant prioritizes a chance to win a title, and it appears he will, the Hawks quickly fall by the wayside among potential suitors like the Thunder, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and possibly a few others. Even if they re-sign their own notable free agents Al Horford and Kent Bazemore, the Hawks are no better than a top-four playoff seed in a mediocre Eastern Conference with a legit chance to bow out in the first round.
It can’t hurt Durant to take meetings with as many teams as possible, even if there’s a speed dating aspect to it all with an expected outcome he will ultimately land back in Oklahoma City. Any serious consideration to signing with the Hawks would come out of nowhere, and I don’t see Atlanta even getting a face-to-face meeting as Durant attempts to find the best situation for him.