NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant Leaning Towards Spurs?
A day after the heartbreaking Game 7 defeat to Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant revealed that he will consult his inner circle before finalizing his new team. According to a source close to the free agent superstar, the San Antonio Spurs has emerged as the likeliest destination if Durant decides to leave Oklahoma City.Advertisement
Even though the Thunder defeated the Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals, the feeling within the Durant camp is that San Antonio presents the forward the best opportunity to consistently compete for championships in the long run. Also, Durant has enormous respect for iconic Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who is expected to meet with the free agent on July 1.
Kevin Durant has a lot of suitors…
Earlier on Tuesday, ESPN’s Mark Stein revealed the list of teams that will court Durant next month. “Wizards, Celtics, Heat, Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Rockets, Spurs and, yes, Warriors … that’s merely where the list of teams known to be actively seeking the chance to court KD face-to-face stands. Aggressive teams like the Raptors and Blazers will presumably try their luck too. And there will surely be others we don’t see yet,” wrote Stein.
Durant told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears that there are three guys who will influence his decision. “We will figure it out. I will talk to my agent, my best friend and my dad. Just talk to those three guys and get some advice from other people. But for the most part, I will talk to them in the next couple of weeks. I don’t even know where my mind is right now.
“I can’t think about what is going to happen in a month. I’m just thinking about what we’ve all been through as a team and embrace my brothers right now,” added the former MVP.
The Popovich factor…
Last month, an ESPN report revealed that Popovich would very aggressive in his pursuit of Durant, similar to last summer when he courted LaMarcus Aldridge. “Gregg Popovich was positively Riley-esque last summer in his pursuit of Aldridge to partner with Kawhi Leonard and set them up as co-heirs to the two decades of elite basketball sustained with Tim Duncan as the Spurs’ focal point.”
Of course, the Spurs would have to 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. “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.”
A plethora of insiders still suggest that Durant would return to OKC on a two-year extension with an opt out after one year. But it’s hard to speculate on Durant’s thought process, just a day removed from yet another postseason heartbreak.
If Spurs can land Kevin Durant, they would instantly open next season as championship favorites. A Big Three of Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and Durant should be enough to propel a new era of greatness.