The hunt is on. The 2016 NBA Draft provided some fresh faces to many franchises, giving way to some new and familiar contenders for next years championship title. However, now that the draft has faded from the limelight, the bid for Free Agent Kevin Durant is now in full swing.
The 9-year vet is expected to be more powerful next season and has caught the eye of many. Despite the July 1st free agency start date, both the Spurs and Warriors are expected to meet with the small forward/shooting guard to discuss possible contracts details. It’s been confirmed Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Steve Kerr and Steph Curry will also attend those meetings with Durant. Other meetings for the prime ball player include the Boston Celtics and Los Angels Clippers.
OKC has also made a silent bid to keep Durant with the trade of Serge Ibaka during the draft last week. The Thunder traded Ibaka to Orlando for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilysova and No. 11 pick Domantas Sabonis. This trade in theory gives OKC a fighting chance at the title next year with a rooster loaded with vets and fresh faces, likely to become a strong frontcourt squad. Staying with OKC would also be a smart financial move for Durant. Signing a two-year contract, with an opt-out option after the first year could potentially get him a higher salary cap, as he would be a prime ten-year vet of the NBA and can sign a bigger contract.
Nonetheless, it’s not over until it’s over. Teams meeting with Durant in the days leading up to July 7 (the unofficial decision date for Durant) are most likely to be in the mix for bringing Durant on board. Teams who fail to land some sort of meeting with the free agent in the first few days of the free-agency frenzy, can slowly watch their hopes slip away (sorry Wizard fans). However, those who did land that meeting can call fair game, given certain circumstances and financial means are available.
The Spurs would most likely have to trade Parker and leave Ginobili and Duncan, to acquire Durant, but Durant, Aldridge, Green and Leonard could dominate the court. If Bosh, in Miami, were to be out next season for his medical condition, the Heat could capitalize on the available funds to get a contract. The Warriors and Celtics with recurrent finals appearances also pose as a possible homes.
Theories that LeBron and Durant are both moving to Los Angels have spread across social media, with “reports” that LeBron has already enrolled his kids in a LA school, have LA fans hopeful. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely this will happen, as the Cavs are adamant that James is staying in Cleveland. In addition, circumstances and salaries will be higher and more favorable for the two at the end of next season.
The possibilities are endless, and at the end of the day Durant i
s one of the NBA’s most authentic players. The man just wants to play some ball, and he will most likely go where he can do the most for himself and the team, despite money or franchise popularity. The man makes his own decisions and doesn’t seem to be waivered by moneyball, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love Kevin Durant?
With July around the corner the fans should expect to hear where Durant is headed fairly soon. For updates on Kevin Durant’s status follow @aav_sports on twitter.