4. Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers have room for two max additions, and Kevin Durant saw firsthand how tough this team is in their first round playoff series. Though the roster may look somewhat different next year, Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari, Montrezl Harrell, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet — five of the team’s best six players after the Tobias Harris trade — are all on the books still.
Patrick Beverley is one loose end the Clippers hope to tie up, but in any case, this roster boasts a terrific blend of established, underrated talent that competes every night, and young players with potential who, well, also compete every night.
Throw in the potential addition of Kawhi Leonard and a union between those two — the Clippers’ original grand plan — would challenge the Lakers for Staples Center supremacy once Durant returns healthy.
The Clippers make a lot of sense on paper. They have flexibility to build around Durant and another max player, as the contracts of Williams, Harrell and Gallo all come off the books in 2020. They could re-sign these players who have rapidly become fan favorites, or let them walk in the service of bringing a third star on board.
However, it feels like the Clippers are the least likely to add Durant among the four main contenders. In a city where LeBron James and Anthony Davis will reign supreme, and a division where the Warriors will still be lurking, KD may not enjoy being overshadowed like that.
L.A. is a great place to live, the Clippers are bursting with potential and Jerry West could easily put forth a great pitch, but Durant won’t be listening to pitches. Migrating East makes more sense then leaving Golden State for the Clippers, especially if they’re unable to land the Klaw and have to resort to KD as their Plan B.