Kevin Durant will grant free agency meetings to the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder starting next weekend, according to a source close to the superstar forward.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that the Warriors and Spurs are the only two “legitimate threats” to pry the former MVP and scoring champion away from the city of Oklahoma.
Curry, Thompson to recruit Kevin Durant
According to ESPN’s Mark Stein, the Warriors will be represented by a team of key organizational figures including Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson while the Spurs will be represented coach Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan & Co. They are supposed to fly “to an undisclosed location once free-agency season starts to try to lure Durant away from the only franchise he has ever played for.”
At exactly 12:01 a.m. ET on July 1, teams can begin meeting with Kevin Durant. However, Stein reports that the list of “confirmed suitors for now features the Thunder and their two main rivals in the Western Conference.”
Story online soon: Sources say Warriors, Spurs & incumbent Thunder are first three known teams to land recruiting meetings with Kevin Durant
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 25, 2016
Stein also revealed that Durant will be accompanied by close associates. “Expected to sit alongside Durant at the forthcoming meetings, sources say, is his agent Rich Kleiman and selected family members and friends,” he reported earlier on Friday.
“The Warriors would have to relinquish a number of looming free agents, including Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, and at least one more significant contract — such as Andrew Bogut or Andre Iguodala — to create sufficient salary-cap space to sign Durant. But as ESPN reported earlier this week, Golden State is “all-in” on a Durant pursuit,” writes Stein.
Spurs will have to forego assets…
The Spurs would have to likely sacrifice Danny Green, Boris Diaw and/or Patty Mills to open up enough cap room to make a successful run at Durant. It’s not unfathomable. Last month, Steinw rote: “San Antonio won’t have close to max cap room to spend without a willingness to lose multiple members from its Boris Diaw/Danny Green/Patty Mills supporting cast. Yet you’ll recall how swiftly the Spurs jettisoned Tiago Splitter last summer when the opportunity arose to sign LaMarcus Aldridge.”
For several weeks, reliable sources have indicated that Kevin Durant is most likely to return to OKC on a two-year max contract, with a player option to return to free agency next offseason. This way, Durant can maximize his earnings with the salary cap skyrocketing with each passing summer.