Miami Heat rumors reveal the team is ready to make Kevin Durant the top priority during the NBA offseason. These Heat rumors aren’t too surprising, as most teams want to lure the former MVP when he becomes a free agent. Dan Le Batard at ESPN.com reported something that may have caught some Heat fans off guard though. Le Batard states that signing Durant is a higher priority for the Heat than re-signing either Dwyane Wade or Hassan Whiteside. That’s a big deal with how long Wade has been in Miami.
“The plan is and always has been: Go after Durant and free everything up – so much so that you insulted your superstar this offseason by telling Dwyane Wade no on multiple years, even though that’s what he wanted. Dwyane, who deserves more of your allegiances as business and a company and management than Chris Bosh does. Because the whole thing is get in a room with Durant after this season.”
So, would the Miami Heat really risk losing Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside to free agency in a bid to lure Kevin Durant to South Beach? An aging Wade and the price tag for Whiteside makes re-signing the two players risky, while signing Durant, who is still one of the best players in the NBA, could help the team on a long-term scale. But can Heat president Pat Riley even get the representatives of Durant to sit down for a meeting? That might be a tall task to ask in the offseason.
Kevin Durant is coming out of a five-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder that will have paid him just about $90 million in salary. As an unrestricted free agent, Durant will have all the control when he begins negotiating with teams during the NBA offseason. There are quite a few franchises that want to offer him a max deal to come to their cities, but it still remains to be seen whether Durant actually wants to leave OKC. By remaining with the Thunder, he could make the most money possible.
During the 2015-16 NBA season, Durant played in 72 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder. With 35.8 minutes a night, Durant averaged 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game. Durant made the Western Conference All-Star team again and is currently playing against the Golden State Warriors in the West Finals. The Warriors are another team that might try to lure Durant during the offseason, providing more competition to OKC and Miami.
There are going to be a lot of new Miami Heat rumors in the coming weeks, especially since the postseason just came to an abrupt end for the team. Though the Heat took the Toronto Raptors to seven games in a second-round playoff series, it didn’t seem like the team had a real shot at unseating the Cleveland Cavaliers as the conference champions. Losing Chris Bosh put the team in a very difficult position, but if Bosh can return for the 2016-17 NBA season, Miami might be back in contention right away.
Kevin Durant has a lot of options to choose from when the NBA offseason finally tips off. He could decide to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder by signing a two-year deal that includes a player option for the second season. He could also decide to sign a long-term contract and dedicate his prime years to OKC. If Durant fails to win an NBA title with OKC this year, he might also want to look into signing a max deal as an unrestricted free agent. Should Durant and OKC come up short against the Warriors, it would give new life to the Miami Heat rumors about luring him to South Beach.
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