James and former Cavaliers GM David Griffin attempted to pursue Kevin Durant.

By Michael Shapiro
March 12, 2019

LeBron James won his first and only NBA Finals with the Cavaliers in June 2016, and he quickly turned his attention to recruiting a third superstar in July's free agency.

James and former Cavaliers GM David Griffin attempted to pursue Kevin Durant in free agency before the ex-Thunder star bolted to Golden State, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe.

In late June 2016, just days after winning one of the most thrilling and historically significant NBA Finals in history, David Griffin, then the Cleveland Cavaliers' GM, gathered his staff and gave them a directive: Explore ways to get Kevin Durant," Lowe wrote on Tuesday. "Everyone knew even getting a meeting was a long shot. They would have to gut most of their roster around LeBron James to acquire Durant. But they had to at least do their due diligence."

Durant did not meet with James or the Cavs' brass regarding his free-agent decision. He then rolled through Cleveland in the 2017 and 2018 Finals, ending James' second-stint in Cleveland with a pair of Finals losses. 

James has yet to build a superteam in Los Angeles. The Lakers failed to acquire Anthony Davis before February's trade deadline, and now sit 11th in the West at 30–36. 

Durant and the Warriors lead the West at 45–21 as they hurdle toward a potential three-peat. Durant will be a free agent once again in July

 

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