NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant Free Agency Options Include The Thunder, Lakers, Celtics, And Warriors

With the 2016 NBA trade deadline in the rearview mirror, rumors are now focused on the destinations for some of the top free agents that will be available this summer. While Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant was involved in numerous trade discussions over the winter, he was not moved before the deadline. Durant will remain with the Thunder for the remainder of the 2015-2016 season, but many analysts and insiders around the league believe that he could leave Oklahoma City in the offseason.

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 remain destinations for Durant, the greatest odds say that he will remain with the Thunder.

With a record of 53-23, the Thunder are once again one of the best teams in the NBA. The problem is they are going to have to defeat the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors, two teams that are having historic seasons, in order to win the championship. While the Thunder are a great team, the odds of them being able to take down the Spurs and Warriors in a series are not great. Assuming the Thunder once again fall short of winning a championship, Durant could look to move to a team that will maximize his odds of winning a title while he is still in the prime of his career.

Los Angeles Lakers

While the Lakers are not a good team this year, they do have numerous assets that could appeal to Durant. As Sports Illustrated reports, Durant spends a lot of time in the offseason in Los Angeles. While the weather and activities are a draw for any NBA player, Durant is looking for a team that legitimately has a chance to win a championship in the next few years. With Kobe Bryant retiring, Durant could be the best player on a team that features D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. As long as the Lakers do not fall out of the top three picks in the lottery, they will also have the chance to draft one of the best players in college this year.

As reported by Bleacher Report, Stephen A. Smith stated that Durant’s primary free agency destination is Los Angeles if things do not work out with the Thunder.

“Regardless of how senseless it may (sound), in one breath I’m hearing that if Kevin Durant doesn’t stay in Oklahoma City, L.A. is his primary objective and landing spot as opposed to South Beach or even his home of Washington, D.C.,”

Whether or not that is actually true remains to be seen, but the idea of winning a championship in Los Angeles has to be appealing for Durant.

Boston Celtics

With a record of 43-32, the Boston Celtics are a team on the rise. While they are unlikely to win a championship in the next two seasons, they do have a strong foundation that could be appealing to Durant. In addition to a solid core group of young players, Celtics coach Brad Stevens is also one of the most creative minds in the NBA.

As Comcast SportsNet New England reports, the idea of Durant signing with the Celtics actually makes sense. Chris Gasper breaks down the possibility.

“I think he respects [Brad] Stevens, he respects Danny Ainge. I think, unlike a lot of free agent guys, he’s really focused on basketball. I don’t think the peripheral stuff matters to him as much. You get out of the West where you have Golden State there and San Antonio is looking pretty good with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge… I think he believes more in the management and ownership of this team than a say team like Washington, even though he is from that area.”

Golden State Warriors

With a record of 68-7, the Golden State Warriors may finish with the best record in NBA history. Durant has been rumored to be interested in the Warriors for months, and many sources believe there is still a chance that he signs with them this summer. The biggest issue is the Warriors’ chemistry.

While Durant is one of the best players in the league, the Warriors play basketball like a well-oiled machine. In order to sign Durant, the Warriors would have to get rid of numerous role players on their team. While some of the guys that would be moved are not exactly star players, they are still important to the team’s overall chemistry.

Regardless, Durant may be too enticing to pass up on, and the Warriors’ management could make things work if he is truly interested in signing with them.

Oklahoma City Thunder

While Durant has not yet won a championship with Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, there is still a great chance that he chooses to re-sign with the team. Barring injuries, the Thunder have been competitive practically every single year since Durant and Westbrook teamed up. Winning a championship is going to be difficult this season, but the Thunder are always going to be towards the top of the Western Conference standings with Durant on the roster.

While the 2015-2016 NBA season still has a few months remaining, rumors will likely continue to link Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant to the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Golden State Warriors. Durant himself is still probably unsure of where he is ultimately going to sign, but the remaining few months of the season are going to likely impact his final decision.

[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]

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