Ever since the Lakers traded for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard earlier this offseason, many have been projecting them to reach the 2013 Finals and even win the title. However, this is being taken as a slight by Kevin Durant and the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder. Here are Durant's thoughts on the newly retooled Lakers, as well as some early speculation about Durant's own free agency:
- Durant told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that he understands why the Lakers are receiving the majority of the offseason buzz: "People outside, fans, media, of course they are going to say [the
Lakers are the favorites] because on paper they have the best lineup in
the league. But you still got to play the games. We respect everybody.
We are going to go through the league respecting everybody as well. We already view ourselves as an elite team, but we have to prove it again. Last year is over with."
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel wonders whether the Magic plan to eventually target Durant, who is scheduled to hit free agency following the 2015/16 season.