9:59pm: The Heat are still alive in the race for Durant, according to a tweet from InsideHoops.com. A source says the theory that Durant is deciding between the Thunder and Warriors is untrue.
8:43pm: Durant was impressed by the Celtics’ presentation on Saturday and is still “seriously considering” signing with Boston, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.
7:55pm: Durant is not expected to make an announcement before Monday, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The final decision will come down to the Thunder and Warriors, according to Royce Young of ESPN.com (Twitter link). A source close to the Warriors told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that Golden State pitched “culture, dynasty, style of play” to Durant, but the source wouldn’t be surprised if he stays in Oklahoma City (Twitter link).
3:25pm: Durant spoke over the phone with Warriors executive Jerry West yesterday, Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News tweets. A source told Kawakami that Durant likes the Warriors, but is unsure about leaving the Thunder (Twitter link). Nevertheless, Durant is strongly considering the Warriors and his decision will be released on the Players’ Tribune, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets.
9:05am: Kevin Durant plans to make a decision tonight or Monday, but that’s the only certainty as he prepares to meet his fifth and final suitor, writes Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. Heat representatives will get the last chance to woo Durant this afternoon, following the Celtics and Spurs, who met with him Saturday, and the Warriors and Clippers, who had meetings Friday. The Thunder have requested a final session with Durant, but he and his representatives have not decided whether to grant that.
Officials from the four teams that have talked with Durant so far haven’t been able to determine whether he is leaning toward any of them, Broussard reports. He speculates that the Clippers may have taken themselves out of the running Saturday night by using a big chunk of their cap space on the three-year, $35MM deal they gave to Austin Rivers.
The Celtics may have improved their bargaining position with Saturday’s commitment by Al Horford, according to Broussard. Durant’s agent, Rich Kleiman, had been trying to convince Horford to join Durant in Oklahoma City, and there may be incentive now to team them up in Boston. However, a source told Broussard that while the Horford addition may enter into Durant’s decision, it won’t be a major factor.
Miami will send owner Micky Arison, chief exective officer Nick Arison, team president Pat Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra, GM Andy Elisburg and executive Alonzo Mourning into today’s session with Durant, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Meeting Durant so close to his deadline puts the Heat in a difficult position, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel, who says Riley’s main goal may be to dissuade Durant from choosing the Celtics.
Jackson says the Heat consider themselves an underdog for Durant, but they have several strategies to take on his $26.5MM first-year salary if he does choose Miami. The easiest would be to trade Goran Dragic and Josh McRoberts without taking salary back, start Hassan Whiteside‘s contract at $20MM rather than $22MM and try to convince Dwyane Wade to accept the approximately $16MM still left.
Durant reportedly flew to Boston on Friday to visit the city, then made a return flight with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, according to a report from CSNNE. The Celtics were happy with the active role that Brady played in the Durant presentation, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI. Brady joined the Celtics’ contingent along with co-owner Steve Pagliuca, president Danny Ainge and players Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk.