Starting July 1, Kevin Durant is expected to grant a handful of free agency meetings with various interested teams. According to a source close to the Durant camp, the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors are the two biggest threats to lure the former MVP away from Oklahoma City Thunder.
Kevin Durant meets James Harden…
Earlier this week, there was rife speculation that Houston Rockets were in the mix after a picture of Durant and James Harden at a restaurant began to circulate via Instagram. Durant and Harden are really close friends dating back to their days as teammates in Oklahoma City.
According to ESPN’s Mark Stein, Durant isn’t considering Rockets as an option. “Sources insist the visit is nothing out of the ordinary for them, given the players’ long-standing friendship, and particularly because Houston, sources say, is not a destination Durant intends to consider.”
Stein also revealed that the Warriors and Spurs are the only teams with a shot at signing Durant. “He is widely expected to take a handful of face-to-face recruiting meetings with a select group of interested teams, with the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs regarded by many rival executives as the two biggest threats to lure Durant away from the Thunder,” he wrote Thursday.
Popovich has plans for Durant…
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.”
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. “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.”
Thunder still frontrunners…
For several weeks, reliable sources have indicated that 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.
A few days after Thunder’s heartbreaking exit from the NBA playoffs, 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.”
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics believe that they have a shot at Durant. Their lone all-star, Isiah Thomas, revealed to the Boston Globe last week his plans to try and recruit the superstar.
Kevin Durant will become the NBA’s biggest story in the aftermath of the ongoing finals. The next few weeks should prove to be very interesting.