That’s what Iguodala himself has revealed.

The veteran Warriors swingman believes forward Durant is “right there” behind four-time MVP James as the best in the league.

Durant has been the Finals MVP in both of the last two years, beating James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on both occasions including in a 4-0 sweep in their last best-of-seven championship showdown in June.

And the 29-year-old has been talked about as being as influential and as important as James, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers after a free agency move.

Speaking after Game 3 of the 2018 Finals, James admitted himself about Durant: “He’s one of the best players that I’ve ever played against, that this league has ever seen. His ability to handle the ball, shoot the ball, make plays at his length, at his size, at his speed. So, there it is.”

And Iguodala – the man most likely to drop out of the Warriors’ starting five once DeMarcus Cousins returns to full fitness – says he wants this year to be the year in which Durant finally surpasses James as the out-and-out top dog.

James will play in the Western Conference for the first time in his career and as a result will face the Warriors four times a season.

On that challenge, Iguodala told CNBC: “It’s going to be a lot of fun. That means I’m going to see him a whole lot more than I’d like to! 

“But actually you prefer to play against the best competition, at this point he’s arguably the best player in the world. 

“He’s probably the best player in the world. Kevin Durant’s right there. I keep pushing Kevin to finally take him over this season. 

“It’s going to be a lot of fun. 

“He’s doing great things in the community, he’s representing not just himself and not just his team but the entire NBA in the endeavours that he has off the court. So he’s like a brother.” 

The Lakers have actually been linked with a move to recruit Durant next summer, with the former Oklahoma City Thunder star able to explore his options in free agency if he does not sign a five-year supermax contract.

And NBA Front Office insider Bobby Marks told ESPN that he believes L.A. could well look to team Durant and James up for 2019-20.

“They’re going to have $38m in cap space to go out and get a Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler or Klay Thompson,” ex-Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Marks told ESPN.

“The placeholders, the Michael Beasley’s of the world, the one-year players, all those guys would have to go.

“You then hope your young players, [Brandon] Ingram, [Kyle] Kuzma, [Lonzo] Ball, they all develop into a-line starters.

“Then you slide in a Jimmy Butler or maybe a Kevin Durant into the equation.”


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