With the 2016 NBA trade deadline only six days away, rumors are heating up regarding some of the biggest names in the league. While Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin are among those most brought up pertaining to potential trades, the biggest news could come in the offseason. While Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant will not be traded at the deadline, there is suspicion among many NBA experts and analysts that he is going to sign with the Golden State Warriors in the offseason.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Durant has been linked to the Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York Knicks over the past few weeks. While the reports on each team were still in their early phases, it appears as though the rumor of Durant signing with the Warriors may have some real merit.
Chris Broussard of ESPN was the first to report the possibility of Durant to the Warriors in December of 2015. While he said it was speculation, he did state that many league executives were discussing the real possibility that it could happen. In order for it to happen, the Warriors would have to let Harrison Barnes go in free agency and trade Andrew Bogut to free enough cap space. As Broussard stated, the rumor did not come from Durant’s camp.
“At this point, everything is speculation. When you talk to some executives, a name that has been thrown will shock people—Golden State…. Now, this is not something coming out [of] Durant’s camp…. There are those around the league that think Golden State is a possibility.”
Since Broussard’s report, Durant has not given specifics regarding his upcoming free agency, but he has said that he is thinking about it, as reported by The Inquisitr. And it makes sense that he will not give any details on what he is thinking. With a record of 40-14, the Oklahoma City Thunder are currently the No. 3 seed in the difficult Western Conference. While it seems like the Thunder are always among the best teams in the regular season, they have not yet been able to get it done in the playoffs.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 12, 2016
Durant will turn 28-years-old in September, so he may be thinking about the best chance for him to finally win a ring. While he and Russell Westbrook make a great combination, Durant may feel as though it is time to move on. With a record of 48-4, the Golden State Warriors are having a historic season. Stephen Curry is turning into possibly the greatest shooter in NBA history, and the rest of the team is firing on all cylinders.
Adding Durant to the Warriors would almost literally make things unfair for the rest of the NBA. Golden State has a legitimate shot to break the Chicago Bulls’ record for most wins in a regular season, and Durant would somehow make them even stronger. While everyone’s numbers would probably go down slightly, the Warriors’ team efficiency and field goal percentage would increase with easier and fewer contested shots.
Woj says GSW frontrunner for Durant; Spears that KD done due diligence on Bay; Broussard that GSW execs think they're in. Not going away!
— Matt Steinmetz (@SteinmetzNBA) February 12, 2016
After talking to more league sources, Broussard decided to double-down on his prediction of Durant signing with the Warriors. In an interview on ESPN, Broussard sounds even more confident that his initial hunch is going to come true.
“They have a good shot. Now let me start off with this. He is not definitely out of Oklahoma City. They are very much alive. Now if they win it this year, most likely he stays. There are people in Golden State that think they are getting him. People in management. And I think some players too. Kevin Durant likes the way that they play.”
As Broussard notes, Durant’s decision is going to come down to the Thunder’s success in the playoffs. While they are sure to advance to at least the second round, it is going to be difficult for them to defeat the San Antonio Spurs and Warriors in a series.
Rumors will continue to swirl regarding Kevin Durant’s destination for the 2016-2017 season, but we probably will not have complete clarity until the end of the season. Regardless, there is a very real possibility that Kevin Durant will be a member of the Golden State Warriors next year.
[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]