As reported by Inquisitr, Kevin Durant’s season has come to a premature end due to the nagging foot injury. Durant had been averaging 25 points and 6 rebounds a game. According to KWTV, Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti made the decision to shut Durant down for the season because Kevin had not made the progress they expected.
The real question is whether or not this will be Durant’s last season in an Oklahoma City Thunder uniform.
Russell Westbrook has elevated his play to another level starting in February. While Durant has always been compared to LeBron James, Westbrook has been drawing comparisons to multiple Hall of Famers — Oscar Robertson, Clyde Drexler, and one everyone knows.
Westbrook has 9 triple-double in his last 30 games. In the last 40 seasons, only Jordan has compiled more in a 30-game period. #Elias
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 21, 2015
However, the reality of doing business in the NBA is going to come into play. Westbrook is currently attempting to salvage the Thunder’s season without Durant and also without Serge Ibaka, as reported by Bleacher Report. (Ibaka is out 4-6 weeks recovering from minor surgery, which may also mean for the rest of the season, as well.) The Thunder currently hold a one game lead over the Pelicans for the last playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. Michael Lee of the Washington Post has provided the best description for the new and improved Westbrook, who we never got to see as long as Kevin Durant was in the lineup.
“Without Durant, Russell Westbrook has brought Terminator-like determination to assaulting the stat sheet in a manner not seen since Oscar Robertson.”
It is that determination that could spell the end to Durant in a Thunder uniform. The best Durant has been able to do is get to and lose in the conference finals. If Westbrook can play to even half of Jordan’s ability, the team dynamics of the Thunder will change as Westbrook, as a primary ballhandler, can have a greater impact on the game — elevating the level of all players — than Durant, who needs a point guard to help get Kevin into a scoring position. The Thunder can save money and rebuild the team around Westbrook, especially if Westbrook singlehandedly wills the Thunder into the playoffs.
Bleacher Report points out that the championship window is closing on the Thunder’s new “Big Three” of Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka. With the likely increase in the NBA salary cap in 2016, Kevin Durant, who will be in the final year of his contract, will likely be offered break-the-bank contract offers from other NBA teams wanting to lure the forward away from Oklahoma City.
The most likely landing spot for Durant would be with the Washington Wizards if he were to leave Oklahoma City. Durant, who is from Washington, D.C., called the fan support (KD2DC) for him to sign with the Wizards “cool,” according to Pro Basketball Talk.
So, is this the sign of Kevin Durant’s future after this injury-plagued season?
[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]