Kevin Durant and James Harden have been spotted hanging out together this week, but their social plans aren’t related at all to Durant’s free agency, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein. According to Stein, despite Harden’s presence in Houston and the team’s reported interest in Durant, the Rockets aren’t a club KD plans to seriously consider in free agency this summer.
Houston is one of many teams expected to make a run at Durant this offseason, joining the Warriors, Spurs, Heat, Celtics, Knicks, Lakers, and Wizards, among others. As has long been the case though, people around the NBA still believe the most likely scenario involves the Thunder star returning to Oklahoma City on a two-year deal with an opt-out after the first season.
Still, Durant is expected to be open to taking recruiting meetings, and we heard on Thursday that the Spurs and Warriors are among the clubs “planning big pitches.” Stein corroborates that report, suggesting that Golden State and San Antonio are considered by many executives around the league to be the two biggest threats to OKC.
While the NBA’s tampering rules don’t prevent Durant’s friends on rival teams, such as Harden, from spending time with him and perhaps making their own pitches this month, clubs won’t be able to formally pursue the seven-time All-Star until the new league year gets underway, three weeks from today.