While the Oklahoma City Thunder currently have an outstanding record of 54-25, rumors are surrounding Kevin Durant and whether or not he is going to leave the team in free agency over the summer. With the NBA playoffs set to begin in a few weeks, Durant and the Thunder are facing an uphill battle. They are once again one of the top teams in the league, but they will be facing off against arguably two of the best teams in NBA history in the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. According to a recent interview, Durant’s former teammate Kendrick Perkins believes that the decision could come down to how the Thunder fare in this year’s playoffs.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Durant has been linked to the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Lakers. While all of those teams have qualities that Durant would likely be interested in, the Thunder are still viewed as the frontrunners for his services. There are no guarantees in professional sports, and Durant could just as easily be lured to the Celtics or Lakers.
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) April 7, 2016
As reported by ESPN, Perkins is attempting to lure Durant to Boston.
“Boston and everybody else, right? As a friend, I try not to talk to him too much about free agency. I always try to just want to talk to him about things outside of basketball. We talk about personal life and stuff like that. And I know he’s getting this question every day on the hour and stuff like that, so I try not to bother him. But he did shoot some teams out there that he made me sign a confidentiality form that I couldn’t tell nobody. He’s got a few teams that he will be looking at.”
Since Perkins did not actually list any teams, we can only speculate about the potential suitors. The rumor with the most clout involves the Golden State Warriors. While Durant has never confirmed the reports, Chris Broussard of ESPN has stated numerous times that his sources are saying Durant is considering the Warriors. And the fit would make sense for Durant. With a record of 69-9, the Warriors are having one of the greatest seasons in NBA history. The Warriors would have to get rid of some existing players to acquire Durant, but the team would likely be even better with him on the roster.
When asked about the chances that Durant actually decides to leave Oklahoma City, Perkins said that this year’s playoffs will have an impact on the decision.
“[The Thunder] win it all, he can’t leave, in my opinion. But if they don’t, it might be time for a change.”
With Durant set to turn 28 years old in September, his time as one of the top players in the NBA is going to come to an end. While he still has a few elite years left, Durant is thinking long and hard about winning a championship. Durant and Russell Westbrook are one of the best duos in the entire NBA, but it has not yet led to a championship.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) April 7, 2016
Assuming the Thunder do not upset the Warriors and Spurs, Durant’s season is once again going to end earlier than he would have hoped. As one of the best players in the league, Durant is going to be able to sign with any team in the league that has the salary cap space. The only question is whether or not Durant wishes to win a championship with the team that drafted him.
As CBS Sports reports, Durant is looking for the free agency treatment that LeBron James received a few years ago.
“Durant is looking forward to being recruited, to being courted, to being treated like the biggest free-agent prize since LeBron James six years ago.”
Assuming that report is true, Durant appears ready to be sold on a new organization. While his current intentions may be to return to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the free agency recruiting process could change everything.
With the 2015-2016 NBA playoffs set to begin in a few weeks, the Kevin Durant free agency rumors are only going to continue to grow. If the Thunder manage to win the championship, the odds say that Durant will remain in Oklahoma City. If the Thunder’s season once again ends in disappointment, there is a very real chance that Durant is playing in a different city for the 2016-2017 season.
[Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]