Kevin Durant says free agency is ‘wide open at this point’
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is having one of his typically brilliant MVP-caliber seasons. The seven-time All-Star is averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, shooting 50.8 percent from the floor and 39.1 percent behind the 3-point line.
He’s also an unrestricted free agent this summer, a seismic event the entire NBA is patiently awaiting.
Durant’s free agency also coincides with the NBA’s salary cap rising from $70 million to approximately $92 million this summer, instantly transforming almost every organization into a potential suitor for Durant’s service. The 27-year-old is a smart guy who understands all this, and he recently had some notable comments about his situation (via USA Today):
“I like the fact that our game is growing,” Durant said when asked about the issue. “That’s my whole thing, just to grow the game of basketball and leave my mark on it. …You could just look it as a positive thing, that our game is growing and you can be able to do whatever you want as an owner, a (general manager) as a player, and ultimately that’s what you want: to make a decision on your own and to make a decision that makes you happy. That makes everything just wide open at this point.”
Durant has so many options. He can re-sign with the Thunder on a two-year maximum contract with a player option in year two (when the salary cap is projected to rise yet again, to about $108 million) or grab a five-year deal and happily stay put.
He can team up with Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors, potentially forming an even better squad than what’s currently there (aka the best team in NBA history). He can flee to the Eastern Conference and join a team like the Boston Celtics or Washington Wizards, a group that believes Durant’s incredible talent is all they need to push them into the NBA Finals.
So today is the day Twitter starts dreaming about Kevin Durant on the Celtics, I guess.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) February 23, 2016
Or, things could get even wackier, and Durant might team up with LeBron James (also a free agent) on basically any team that has enough cap space to max out both of them.
The man has a lot to think about as July rapidly approaches, and whatever he decides to do will have a serious effect on the rest of the league.
And nobody has the slightest idea which way he’s truly leaning.