Kevin Durant and the San Antonio Spurs may currently be wearing opposing uniforms in their second round Western Conference playoff series, but NBA rumors have suggested the two parties may eventually be on the same side.
Multiple media reports have indicated the San Antonio Spurs are leaning toward making a run at the soon-to-be free agent star of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kevin Durant will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, the largest name looming on the NBA’s open market.
The Bleacher Report assembled a potential scenario in which the San Antonio Spurs could add Kevin Durant and stay under the expanded salary cap for 2016-2017. There’s a lot of movement involved in this plan, but the Spurs could team Kevin Durant with Kawhi Leonard — a pairing of two of the top five players in the NBA — to make San Antonio a prohibitive favorite for the title.
The Spurs are reportedly interested in making a run at KD this summer— SportsNation (@SportsNation) May 6, 2016
Could you imagine ???????????? pic.twitter.com/vqhIfHeXbf
Already, the rumors suggesting Kevin Durant could soon be wearing a San Antonio Spurs jersey is giving NBA executives pause, ESPN‘s Marc Stein reported. “As one rival GM half-jokingly told me this week, immediately haunted by picturing what those three could be capable of in the midst of the NBA’s small ball revolution: ‘Because they’d win every game.'”
The biggest problem the team will face is how to restructure current deals with stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili while balancing the big contracts given to Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge. The USA Today is estimating the salary cap may reach $92 million for the following season, slightly higher than previously projected. Despite the increase, a max salary veteran such as Kevin Durant would put the franchise over the salary cap for 2016-2017.
San Antonio isn’t the only dominant team NBA rumors place in the hunt for Kevin Durant, according to a NBC Sports report. Joining the Spurs are the Golden State Warriors. The key selling point for both teams in pursuit of Kevin Durant is the franchises’ winning culture and immediate opportunity to make a run at a NBA title.
The Spurs have one advantage over Golden State in terms of location, however. San Antonio is a short drive from Austin (home of the University of Texas, the star’s alma mater), a feature that could be alluring to Kevin Durant.
Suitors for Kevin Durant don’t stop at the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs. In addition to his current Oklahoma City team, multiple NBA rumors point to Washington, Miami, Boston, Houston, New York, and both Los Angeles franchises.
An alternative theory Stein put forth involves Kevin Durant remaining with the Oklahoma City Thunder by signing a two-year deal. Not only could Durant pull down more money — as much as $40 million — next year by resigning with his current team, Kevin could also leave his options open for the following year by adding a player option clause.
In the summer of 2017, teammate Russell Westbrook also becomes a free agent. This sort of deal would allow Kevin to sign a short-term deal worth maximum dollars, yet giving him the option to bolt should his back court teammate do the same next season.
The San Antonio Spurs could get a potential mainstay by landing the 27-year-old Kevin Durant. During his career, Durant has been a first team All-NBA five times and was named the 2014 NBA MVP. According to Sports Illustrated, Kevin has averaged 28.2 points and 8.2 rebounds this season.
What do you think about the NBA rumors suggesting the San Antonio Spurs will pursue Kevin Durant during free agency this summer? Leave your thoughts about where you think the former MVP will land in the comment section below.
[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]