Tom Brady was used like a New England trump card when the Boston Celtics brought him to their NBA free agency meeting with Kevin Durant.
Tom Brady joins Celtics for Kevin Durant pitch meeting https://t.co/IpWLRq6IDt pic.twitter.com/I19jw6uJFx
— Boston.com Celtics (@BDCCeltics) July 2, 2016
— Boston Herald (@bostonherald) July 3, 2016
Sports Illustrated reports that the Patriots quarterback was at the meeting alongside Celtics general manager and executive of basketball operations Danny Ainge, point guard Marcus Smart, and center Kelly Olynyk. The meeting took place in the Hamptons where Durant is meeting with several teams.
Jae Crowder and Tom Brady on the runway in the Hamptons for the Kevin Durant visit. pic.twitter.com/NvdmvjiKMr
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) July 2, 2016
According to Sports Illustrated, so far Durant has met with his current team the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Golden State Warriors, and the Los Angeles Clippers. He met with the Miami Heat and the Celtics on Saturday, and will have a final meeting with the Thunder on Sunday.
You may be wondering why the Celtics would bring Tom Brady along since he and Kevin Durant don’t play the same sport. But Brady is one of Boston’s most celebrated athletes and for good reason. As Sports Illustrated notes, the New England Patriots quarterback has won four Super Bowl rings and was named NFL MVP twice.
Furthermore, Kevin Durant has previously expressed an admiration for Brady, Business Insider reports.
Man Tom Brady is like a perfect QB…seems like he never makes any mistakes
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) September 12, 2011
Although bringing Brady to meet Durant was a nice touch, Business Insider notes that it doesn’t seem likely the current Oklahoma City Thunder forward will sign with the Celtics. That’s because out of all the other teams calling on Durant, the Celtics have the weakest chance at competing for an NBA Championship, compared to the Clippers, Heat, Thunder, and Warriors.
Maybe that’s why they brought along Tom Brady in the first place.
Kevin Durant is currently such a hot commodity because he is a free agent and can to sign a contract with any team of his choosing. He’s also considered as one of three best players in the league today and averaged 28.3 points and 8.2 rebounds, according to Sports Illustrated.
But although all of these teams are probably working hard to win the Kevin Durant free agency prize, many experts say his current team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, has the best chance at retaining the star player. That’s because of the NBA salary cap is set to increase next season.
The NBA salary cap is scheduled to increase from $70 million to $92 million next season, Forbes reports.
It’s scheduled to jump to $100 million in the 2017-2018 season. Also at play are “Bird Rights,” a rule in the NBA that allows veteran players on a team to be paid more. So, if Kevin Durant signs with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017, he’s poised to make $60 million more than if he signed a contract this summer.
If he waits until next summer, Kevin Durant can sign a max deal worth over $200M with the Thunder pic.twitter.com/ljZFVE7do5
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 31, 2016
As the article in Forbes notes, even if increasing his wealth isn’t Durant’s main focus, staying in Oklahoma means he’ll be on the same team as Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook, who both have one more year to go before their contracts with the Thunder are up. These players were instrumental in giving the Thunder their best chance at a NBA Finals appearance this season, so Kevin Durant may choose to stay so that he can continue to build the strength of that core group to take it all the way to the championship next year.
[Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/ AP]