Word is, LeBron James is hesitant to join the Los Angeles Lakers without another superstar headed there first, according to ESPN.
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN reported on First Take on Thursday that sources told him James, who has until Friday at 11:59 to opt out of a $35.6 million player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has reached out to Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors to gauge his interest in joining him with the Lakers.
Los Angeles has enough salary-cap space to sign two players to max contracts this summer.
"I got two phone calls last night, after hours, with folks telling me that LeBron James reached out to Kevin Durant -- actually Kevin Durant, you know, that dude, the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP, you know that guy? One of the top three players in the world -- that guy who just spent the last two years beating LeBron James in the NBA Finals," Smith said. "Well, LeBron James reached out to Kevin Durant via text, from what I'm told, about coming to Los Angeles."
Durant has reportedly opted out of his contract with Golden State to become a free agent, but reports have said that is only to enable him to sign a more-lucrative deal with the Warriors, with whom he has won back-to-back NBA titles, earning Finals MVP honors in both seasons.
"I don't know what Kevin Durant's response to [James] was. That's not the information that I got," Smith said. "But I will tell you what I did hear is that behind the scenes, Kevin Durant was like, 'Why would I do that? You know what, as far as I'm concerned, LeBron James is a big-time player, but the way I look at it, I should be perceived as the best in the world.
"'I'm the reigning two-time champion. I'm the reigning two-time Finals MVP. Why would I think about doing something like that?'"
"But nevertheless, LeBron has been making calls."