We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com.
Do you think there’s a chance Kevin Durant will stay put next season with the Warriors if they lose the NBA crown? KD’s reason might be to prove the Warriors can’t win the crown without him. — Greg Dizon
A consensus has built over the past few months that Durant is headed to the Knicks. He hasn’t done anything to confirm the rumor and has scolded the media several times for focusing on free agency rather than the season at hand. Still, the scenario has been in place since New York traded Kristaps Porzingis and cleared enough cap room for two max offers.
Nobody knows for sure what Durant will do, and it’s possible he won’t decide until after he meets with a few suitors. This year’s Finals have killed any speculation that the Warriors are better without him, so there’s nothing left to prove on that front. With Durant’s Bird Rights, Golden State can offer a longer contract and more money than anyone else, which might appeal to Durant now that he has turned 30. It will come down to what Durant decides is most important. It could be money, security and the chance to be part of a dynasty. Or it could be a fresh challenge with a different franchise.
I’m hearing that Kemba Walker is going to the Pacers? — Mark Kinder, via Twitter
Walker won’t go anywhere if Charlotte makes a super-max offer. He loves the team and the city, and no one else can offer him anything close to $221.3MM over five years. If Hornets management decides that would result in too much luxury tax for a team that missed the playoffs, then Indiana will be a strong competitor on the open market. With six free agents, the Pacers can clear a lot of cap room and they will be looking for an upgrade to Darren Collison. Once Victor Oladipo returns from a ruptured quad tendon, he and Walker could take their place among the league’s best backcourts.
Any hope for the Wizards this year? — TypicalDMVFan, via Twitter
“Hope” can mean many things. Washington probably won’t see the postseason again until John Wall comes back, which appears to be the 2020/21 season. But there are still ways the Wizards can improve. Owning the No. 9 pick in the draft will help, and they will have enough cap flexibility to compete for mid-level free agents.
This will be a pivotal summer in Washington with a decision on whether to keep Bradley Beal and try to compete for a low-level playoff spot or work out a trade and go into full rebuilding mode. Unfortunately, there’s no one running the organization right now to make that choice. The best hope for the Wizards may be their expected pursuit of Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who has built successful teams in Toronto and Denver.