At exactly 12:01 a.m. ET on July 1, teams can begin meeting with free agent Kevin Durant. According to latest NBA Rumors, the San Antonio Spurs have entered the fray of hopefuls who will seek a meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar.
The Spurs, a dynasty built via the draft, has never been a team known to spend millions of dollars to attract free agents, albeit they changed the stereotype last year by signing LaMarcus Aldridge to a four-year max deal. With the salary cap set to explode in the coming seasons, it’s estimated that all 30 teams will be able to clear enough room to pursue Durant. That’s right, all 30 teams.
With Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili on their last legs, the Spurs are looking to form a new Big Three of LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. Why shouldn’t they?
Will fit hand and glove…
Are Durant and Spurs a good fit? You bet. Even though Durant has won four scoring titles, the kind of accolade you rarely associate with a Spurs player, the forward is as unselfish as they come and has the ideal work ethic and attitude to fit into the Spurs culture. Also, coach Gregg Popovich and Durant have a ton of mutual respect for one another. Also, the soft-spoken Durant is a consummate professional who never gets into unnecessary controversies. Durant and Spurs are a match made in heaven.
Related Story: Are Kevin Durant & Boston Celtics A Good Match?
Earlier on Thursday, Chris Mannix of The Vertical (Yahoo Sports), revealed that Spurs are already exploring ways to add Durant to their roster next season. “San Antonio has rebuilt its dynasty, but rival executives believe the Spurs will explore ways of adding Durant to the mix, and the franchise’s culture makes it intriguing,” wrote Mannix.
Cap room not an issue…
To sign Durant, Spurs might have to trade away Danny Green to clear a little bit of cap room, so it shouldn’t be much of a problem since the likes of Duncan and Ginobili are expected to either retire or return with veteran minimum contracts.
More NBA Rumors: Harrison Barnes To Leave Warriors?
According to Mannix, every team in the league is keeping close tabs on its 2016-17 payroll with Durant on their minds. “The fight for Durant doesn’t formally begin until July, but make no mistake: Teams are already gearing up. The coming spike in the salary cap has created a landscape for which nobody prepared.”
Regardless of where Durant signs, it’s expected that he will do a LeBron James and sign a two-year contract with an option to opt out after Year 1. This way, Durant can maximize exploding salary cap. “A nine-year veteran, Durant is eligible for the Tier 2 max salary – $25 million annually – against a cap estimated at around $90 million in 2016. In 2017, when executives predict the cap could rise to $110 million, Durant would be eligible for a Tier 3 max deal beginning at $34.5 million annually,” explains Mannix. Durant could stand to lose millions if he signed a multi-year deal this summer.
Will adding Durant help San Antonio Spurs challenge Golden State Warriors for the top throne? Stay tuned for latest NBA Rumors.