Cavs Tried Pairing LeBron James With Kevin Durant After the 2016 NBA Finals

by March 12, 2019
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David Griffin, the former general manager in Cleveland, attempted to lure then-free agent Kevin Durant after the Cavs’ improbable triumph in the 2016 NBA Finals.

“I don’t believe you can dream big enough in the NBA,” Griffin says of his failed gambit to pair KD with LeBron James.

The Cavs’ fantasy remained just that, as Durant ultimately joined the Golden State Warriors and would go on to win two consecutive championships at their expense.

Per ESPN:

“I don’t believe you can dream big enough in the NBA,” Griffin says now in recalling that meeting. “You have to go through the exercise.”

What if Durant had re-signed in Oklahoma City, or went anywhere else, and the 2017 Cavaliers faced the Warriors (or the Thunder, or some other team) in the Finals?

“It would have been a great series,” Kevin Love told ESPN.com last week. “With [Harrison] Barnes and [Andrew] Bogut, they were a really tough team that played so well together. [Durant] signing there shifted the NBA in a big way. It’s still tilting the balance today.” Love added the Cavaliers were confident anyway before the 2017 Finals.

“I know we all believe — and it’s just our opinion — that if Golden State brought back the same team [in 2017], we would have dominated,” Richard Jefferson told ESPN.com.