San Antonio Spurs Rumors: Kevin Durant Will Be Major Offseason Target For Cap-Friendly Spurs, Sources Say

San Antonio Spurs Rumors: Kevin Durant Will Be Major Offseason Target For Cap-Friendly Spurs, Sources Say

The San Antonio Spurs are rumored to be trying to land Kevin Durant this offseason, a move that could kick-start a new era of dominance for one of the NBA’s most successful franchises.

Durant looks to be one of the biggest free agent targets in years with as many as a dozen teams being linked to him. The Spurs are a more recent addition to the mix with Chris Mannix of The Vertical reporting that executives around the league expect San Antonio to make a run at the Oklahoma City Thunder star.

Mannix noted that the Spurs could have an advantage in that they’ve been one of the league’s most consistent franchises, a perennial contender that appears stacked for the future after diving Kawhi Leonard a contract extension and signing LaMarcus Aldridge. Landing Durant would allow the Spurs to ensure a bright future after the inevitable exits of Tim Duncan, Mano Ginobili, and Tony Parker in the coming seasons.

There could be more behind the rumors connecting Kevin Durant to the San Antonio Spurs. Durant has noted that he’s learning not to put so much pressure on himself, which has always been a problem as he’s often carried the Thunder.

“I think I’m playing a little more free than I used to,” Durant told The Vertical. “I used to put a lot of pressure on myself. I’d think, ‘Maybe I’m not being a good enough leader. Maybe I should change my personality.’ I was always thinking what if I change this, what if I change that, instead of just going out and being me. I’ve just been about playing the game at the level I like playing at and playing with the level of joy I like playing with.”

Durant would not have to face nearly the same amount of pressure in San Antonio, where he would be part of a much deeper team and wouldn’t always need to be the first option on offense.

The San Antonio Spurs may also be able to offer Kevin Durant a bigger contract than most other contenders. While the Thunder own Durant’s Bird Rights and can go over the cap in his signing, the Spurs have plenty of cap space to play with and would likely be able to outbid most other teams.

There will likely be many other contenders in the Kevin Durant race. There are a handful of front-runners emerging, including the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.

As insider Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical noted, the Warriors are still seen as the most likely destination outside of Durant returning to the Thunder.

“The Golden State Warriors’ plan of pursuit predates their 2015 championship run, a bold plot to declare the futility of resistance. It isn’t only that the NBA champions are determined to recruit Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. The truth is that they’re the most intriguing destination to him. If Durant leaves the Thunder, the Warriors are the significant frontrunners to sign him, league sources told The Vertical.”

The San Antonio Spurs rumors may never come to pass, league insiders note. The Oklahoma City Thunder are believed to still have the inside track on Kevin Durant, and can keep other contenders at bay if they so chose. But if the Thunder were to falter again in the playoffs, insiders believe it could help drive Durant to look for a new destination closer to his ultimate goal of winning a title.

[Photo by Christian Peterson/Getty Images]

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