The biggest NBA story of the summer is the impending free agency of Kevin Durant. Everyone wants to know what team he will be playing for next season. According to ESPN, Durant will give the Oklahoma City Thunder the first chance at convincing him that they are the best destination.
Kevin Durant has spent nine seasons in the NBA. Each of those seasons has been with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team that drafted him. The franchise has been able to compete for a championship because of Durant’s superb play, and they want to keep that streak going.
It makes all the sense in the world for Kevin Durant to allow the Oklahoma City Thunder to be the first team to pitch to him in free agency. It shows fans and the media that he has loyalty, a trait that many find to be endearing for professional athletes.
As expected, though, Kevin Durant and his agent are set to meet with other NBA teams. Doing due diligence in free agency is the smart business move, even if one is leaning heavily towards staying with their current team. Durant has to listen to other offers before making his decision.
To make things easier for himself, Kevin Durant has set up meetings with a handful of NBA teams in New York City. That way, he doesn’t have to fly around the country. Durant knows that he’s the prize, so he can get away with demanding that team executives go to him.
Aside from meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant has a couple of other NBA teams he wants to speak with. The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are next in line. Durant is also willing to meet with the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat.
Although they haven’t secured a meeting yet, the New York Knicks are hoping that Kevin Durant is willing to sit down with management so that they can pitch to him the idea of becoming the biggest star in the Big Apple. Fortunately for the Knicks, Durant has a good relationship with starting small forward Carmelo Anthony.
The Los Angeles Lakers were hoping to get into the Kevin Durant sweepstakes this summer. Unfortunately for the franchise, Durant doesn’t seem to be all that interested in joining them. He reportedly is refusing to even give the Lakers a meeting.
According to Fox Sports, Kevin Durant will not sign with another NBA team. They feel that he will be returning to the Oklahoma City Thunder after seeing what is out there. The move would enable Durant to make the most money possible under the new salary cap structure.
Getting within one win of the NBA Finals is probably going to influence Kevin Durant about his free agency situation. He believes that the team has a very good chance of getting past Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Durant should be very tempted at trying to do so again next season.
Financially, it makes a lot of sense for Kevin Durant to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has the opportunity to make as much as $40.7 million per season under the new collective bargaining agreement. That’s a lot more money than he can make by signing with another team in the NBA.
Kevin Durant has publicly stated that he will make his free agency decision based on basketball. However, that’s something just about every NBA player states whenever he is trying to decide where to play next. Durant also has to factor in the business side of things.
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