February 8, 2016
NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant Pondering Free Agency After Warriors Game, Other Trade Rumors

NBA rumors are running rampant now that the trade deadline is less than than two weeks away, but the biggest news might be regarding the upcoming offseason. While reports are conflicted regarding Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant's free agency decision, Durant may have given everyone some insight into where he stands. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Durant has been linked to numerous teams including the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks.

With a 38-14 record, the Thunder are once again one of the best teams in the Western Conference. While the Thunder always seem to be competing for a championship, they have not yet been able to get over the hump. Concerns have arisen over the years regarding Durant's ability to coexist with fellow Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook. While the concerns are certainly overblown since Westbrook and Durant have won a lot of games together, is it just time to move on?

Even with a record of 38-14 and the third seed in the Western Conference, it can be argued that the Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are playing at an entirely different level. While the Thunder are most likely going to at least make it to the second round of the playoffs, their odds of defeating the Spurs and Warriors and making it to the NBA Finals are not great.

As reported by USA Today, Durant spoke on his upcoming free agency after a recent loss to the Warriors.

"It's hard for it not to enter your mind. There's a lot of uncertainty going on, because I haven't really thought that far. But I'm just trying to focus on playing basketball. Once that times comes, I'll make that decision. I'll sit down and talk to my closest friends and family and figure it out. But right now I'm just trying to be the best basketball player I can be every single day. I have to be at a high level, an elite level every day, at practice, shootarounds and games, and that's a tough task so I can't focus on anything else other than that."
While Durant's main focus is clearly on the remainder of the 2016 season, he is thinking about what the future holds. Instead of outright denying it, he is aware that he is going to have to make a huge decision in the coming months. While Durant probably does not even know the answer to the question himself at the current moment, the next few months of basketball are going to play a huge factor in his decision.

If the Thunder have another disappointing season without a championship, Durant may seek greener pastures. If the Thunder manage to make it through the playoffs and win the NBA championship by defeating the Spurs, Warriors, and Cleveland Cavaliers, Durant may lean towards returning to Oklahoma City to build a potential dynasty. While he is still only 27-years-old, Durant is not getting any younger. He still has not won a championship, and he really only has a few seasons left at his peak.

If Durant does decide to join the Warriors, he would help form one of the potentially greatest NBA teams of all time. With a record of 46-4, the Warriors already have a realistic chance to break the Chicago Bulls' record for the most wins in a season. Adding Durant would almost make things unfair for the rest of the NBA. In addition to drastically improving an already stacked Warriors team, the Thunder would also become incredibly weaker. The aging Spurs also have to slow down at some point, so the Warriors and Durant could have a dynasty for years to come.

As ESPN notes, there could be drawbacks of Durant signing with a stacked Warriors team. Since there is only one basketball, it would be difficult for Durant to average his usual 25 points per game or more. There are just too many weapons on the Warriors, so everyone would have to sacrifice shots for the greater good of the team. ESPN also notes that every team in the league would be out to get them for forming a super team. While the Warriors are probably already targeted, it would reach an entirely new level with Durant.

While Kevin Durant is not giving any specifics, he has stated that he has thought about his upcoming free agency decision. NBA rumors will continue to swirl over the next few months linking Durant to the Golden State Warriors, but the 2016 playoffs are most likely going to play a huge factor in the decision.

[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]