Latest On Kevin Durant’s Free Agency

League insiders believe the second-round win over the Spurs was enough to keep Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City, according to Bobby Marks of The Vertical. In a video, Marks says the most likely scenario is for Durant to sign a one-year deal with the Thunder worth about $25.9MM that includes a player option for 2017/18.

Next summer, Durant will have 10 years of NBA experience and will become a Tier Three Max player, which means Oklahoma City could offer him more than $200MM over five seasons. If Durant opts for a long-term deal this offseason, OKC can offer five years at about $145MM. Risks involved in choosing a single-season deal are Durant’s injury history and the possibility of a new collective bargaining agreement next year that would shake up the league’s salary structure. Marks lists the Spurs, Heat, Celtics and Warriors as teams expected to make a run at Durant, while ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter) adds the Rockets, Knicks, Lakers, and Wizards to that list.

Durant told Sam Amick of USA Today that he was able to push the free agency issue aside and concentrate fully on every playoff game. “If this would have happened four years ago, I would have been everywhere – my mind would have been everywhere,” he said. “So I’m happy that I was able to focus and lock in and give my all to my team every single night.” Whether it’s a clue to his decision or not, Durant later added, “I see bright things for this team. And it’s great to be a part of it.”

San Antonio, Miami and Golden State are the top contenders if Durant decides to go elsewhere, writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Isola contends the Knicks could be helped if Durant opts for a one-year contract because it gives them another season to improve, along with another year of growth for rookie Kristaps Porzingis.

The Knicks hurt their case when they fired coach Derek Fisher, Durant’s former teammate, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Two advantages they have are that Carmelo Anthony, who has a good relationship with Durant, wants to be part of the recruitment process, and that Durant’s father is a longtime fan of the Knicks. However, New York assistant Brian Keefe, who was Durant’s workout partner in Oklahoma City, reportedly won’t be part of Jeff Hornacek’s new staff.

The odds against Durant signing with the Heat are even greater than they were against LeBron James coming to Miami in 2010, argues Ethan Skolnick of The Miami Herald. Skolnick writes that team president Pat Riley’s best chance is to sell Durant on the possibility of winning a championship with the Heat. However, the 55-win Thunder are also serious title contenders, Durant doesn’t have a close relationship with any of the Miami players like James did with Dwyane Wade and the new restrictions on sign-and-trade deals make it more difficult for players to recoup whatever money they give up to sign with another team.

Durant and the Clippers could both change their postseason fortunes if they unite, writes Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. Woike notes that L.A. won’t have the money to pursue the OKC star because two thirds of its cap room is tied up in Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, but he argues that it might be worth trading one of those three to create the room to sign Durant.

Durant’s friendship with James Harden and the addition of an offensive-minded coach in Mike D’Antoni give the Rockets a least a fighting chance of landing Durant, according to Calvin Watkins of In addition, Rex Kalamian, who may join D’Antoni’s staff, coached both Harden and Durant when he was an assistant with the Thunder.

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26 thoughts on “Latest On Kevin Durant’s Free Agency

  1. ryanmcg125

    I think terrance knighton (pot roast) will convince him to come to bean town. Also i think he is fed up with westbrook outdressing him.

  2. Jalil jemmott

    KD will take less then the max 7 year deal Miami heat with probably with or without Lebron we build a strong team at every position

  3. Jalil jemmott

    We need play and think smart also some money for every free agency summer and make dumb stupid moves. If it comes down to trading next season do him the same way we traded jarnell Stokes for two draft picks

  4. Bosster

    Durant would be a good pickup for the Blazers. With Dame and C.J. they would be unstoppable

      • McConaughey'sLincoln

        Hey hey in their defense, we know most teams would have done the same.

        • Bbone34

          Oden was supposed to be the safe pick, most people agreed that Durant had the highest upside so I don’t think it was necessarily a given Oden should’ve been #1

  5. Sky14

    I think it is almost certain he will stay with the Thunder on a 2 year deal with an opt out. If he does leave on a longterm deal, a darkhorse team he should consider is the Minnesota Timberwolves. With a core of Durant, Wiggins, Towns, Rubio, Lavine, Dieng, Shabazz, along with whoever they draft at 5 this year, they would be incredibly young, talented and deep with a great coach. It is very unlikely, as he would likely favor a more established team but it would be a very shrewd move.

    • halos101

      Oh wow that just got me intrigued haha. Durant going to that team would make things so interesting.

    • Bbone34

      I doubt it highly. I’d expect there’s little to no draw for him to be on a team where he has all the attention. Leaving OKC would mean joining a team who has proven stars (i.e. LAC, Miami, GSW, Spurs) or has the ability to acquire proven stars (i.e. Boston). Minnesota has nice up incoming pieces but I don’t think Durant wants to have to trust the development of these young guys. He wants to win now, if he didn’t want to win he’d stay with his best friend Westbrook in OKC and there wouldn’t be any talk of leaving.

  6. CursedRangers

    Signs a 3 or 4 year max contract with a player only opt out after 1 year.

    • I’m pretty sure NBA contracts don’t work like MLB contracts. The “opt-out” would be a player option and, as far as I know, player/team options are the last season of a deal.

      • Bbone34

        You’re partially correct. Player opt outs have to be before the last season but it’s my understanding that a team option can be either before the last season or before the second to last season.

  7. Thronson5

    He will sign a 1 year deal with a player option for another year with OKC. Then if they don’t win it all next season him and Westbrook will both go elsewhere. Everyone can hope and wish he will go to their team, can’t lie I also wish this for my Lakers but he won’t do so. He has the best chat of winning with that team because they all play well together and are a very talented team. But even then if they don’t win next year they both will want to try to win elsewhere. My guess is Durant goes to the Knicks after his one year deal and Westbrook to the Lakers. If he does decide to go somewhere besides OKC this season I can see him going to the Knicks or the Clippers working out a sign and trade with OKC swapping Durant and Griffin. I could also see him going to Houston to play with Harden especially after they free money up from losing Howard. But over all I just think he will stay one more year and and if he doesn’t win after that then he will leave and we can all speculate where is going all over again lol

    • BSPORT

      Can’t imagine any player with any kind of IQ would ever go to Houston. Unbelievable Mike D’Antoni gets another coaching job in the NBA. They should keep Howard there also because he will win as much as D’Antoni will.

    • Bbone34

      I believe this is all a ploy by Durant’s agents to scare OKC into adding more pieces. I think he will drag out his free agency and OKC will be pressured into finding a player to trade for (Griffen, Butler?) and if that happens he’ll still sign the 1 1 deal to get the extra money with OKC after next season that the collective bargaining agreement has for 10 year veterans

  8. JCjet

    Let’s all be honest here. He’s gonna sign a 1 yr bridge contract to take advantage next summer. He gets one more season in okc with their core intact,and if they lose next season i can see him leaving for Boston or possibly the Spurs depending on Pop’s situation. I don’t think his free agency will be nearly as explosive as people are hoping for.

    • Bbone34

      He’s not going to the Spurs. Half the team is contemplating retirement this offseason. Literally the only draw is Kawhii. Aldridge often times shoots without regard for his range and I think that could hurt their chances of landing Durant as well.

  9. json-api

    Warriors won’t ruin team chemistry to pursue Durant plus they have to go big with Curry after next year….why disturb a winning formula

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