The Memphis Grizzlies believe they can take a small town, tough-minded approach to courting Kevin Durant in free agency.
Hoping to convince Durant to leave Oklahoma City for a Western Conference rival, the Grizzlies reportedly want to convince the All-Star that he can win with a big three of himself, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, according to The Vertical.
Missing the playoffs costs the Grizzlies the lottery protection on a 2016 first-round pick that deposed executive Jason Levien sent out in a salary dump three years ago. With or without Gasol, Memphis’ mandate will be unchanged: make the playoffs. They are working to keep Conley in summer free agency, with Memphis planning to be one more contender with two stars that will try to persuade Kevin Durant to make it a Big Three, league sources said. Durant’s the longest of long shots in summer, but the short-term trade deadline directives are unchanged: The Grizzlies are determined to use the trade deadline to better the roster for a playoff push.
It’s hard to see Durant leaving OKC for a similar market or smaller. For all that Durant could just stay with the Thunder for more money, and better odds at a trip to the Finals.