On May 30th, a question that had lingered around since October finally entered onto the forefront of the mind of most NBA fans. Where will Kevin Durant take HIS talents to in the fall? The story does not begin on May 30th though, this story has much more history than you think.
On July 8, 2010, LeBron James made a turned into the biggest villain in the NBA by hosting the much criticized press conference, better known as “The Decision”, to announce that he was going to sign with the Miami Heat, but only one day before that crucial decision, Kevin Durant, then a third year player that had already become an all-star, a scoring champ, and a first team All-NBA player, quietly took to twitter and signed a five year extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder. James’ and Durant’s paths ultimately crossed two years later, in the NBA Finals, in which LeBron went on to win his first championship at Durant’s expense. The questions were non-existent then, but fast forward four years after that, a team that had a championship window that looked like it was going to be open forever, has been overtaken by injuries, the Golden State Warriors, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In that four year span, the questions ran rampant. Could Westbrook and Durant coexist? Who is the alpha male? Who should be the one to be traded? For one night on May 24th, everything was quiet. The Thunder were the favorites over the 73-9 Warriors, they had blown out the Warriors in back to back games, Durant and Westbrook had looked like best friends, and they were finally going to take their throne. Then the Warriors came storming back, taking the series from the Thunder in seven games, and then the ultimate question was asked, where will Kevin Durant go in the free agency period?
The balance of power is at stake in the NBA, Durant has been prioritized by the Golden State Warriors, who could add another star to an already star loaded team, and could become one of the best teams ever. The Spurs also want Durant, who could join one of the best franchises in sports, and carry the torch for the franchise into the next five years. Could Durant head east to the Celtics, Heat, or the Knicks and attempt to dethrone LeBron James, who has been to six straight Finals? Or could he just decide to stay where he has called home for the last eight years, Oklahoma City, after the franchise moved from Seattle? The best scorer we have seen since Michael Jordan is a free agent, and any team that can get a meeting with him is lining up in New York to give their pitch. Look for Durant to make his decision around the beginning of next week. KD has the firepower to make almost any team he goes to a contender, therefore almost whoever Durant chooses to play for, that team will immediately jump up the list for title favorite in 2016-2017.
My gut tells me Durant will be resigning with the Thunder. Too much is at stake for Durant to jump ship to a new team, when his current team is already a top three team in the NBA. Durant has the ability to sign a one year contract, and then become a free agent again next year when the already booming salary cap jumps to record heights. By becoming a free agent again next season, Durant will be able to re-weigh his options, with his all-star point guard Russell Westbrook becomes a free agent also.
Feel free to comment on where you think Durant will go, and why? And why you think that would be a good landing spot for the former MVP.