Kevin Durant will hit free agency this summer, and if he doesn’t re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder it sounds like the favorites to land him are the Golden State Warriors.
In a piece on Yahoo’s new NBA site The Vertical, Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the reigning champion Warriors are already significant front-runners to land Durant.
While Durant’s looming free agency is still months away, and although Durant has offered no hints about whether he’s leaving OKC, the mere thought of Durant signing with Golden State should absolutely terrify the rest of the NBA.
Make no mistake: Durant isn’t close to gone in Oklahoma City – no decision, no leaning, sources said – but the real threats on the summer market are beginning to reveal themselves. Durant is determined to win – to be an immediate championship contender at 27 years old – and that keeps bringing him back to the Warriors should he make the decision to leave Oklahoma City.
As Wojnarowski notes, Durant’s departure from OKC isn’t at all a sure thing, at least as of February. But the Warriors reportedly believe that they can lure him to the Bay Area — and they are planning to use everyone they have to recruit him:
All-Star Weekend is coming in Toronto, and Durant will get the chance to test out Steph Curry and Draymond Green as teammates. The recruiting has started, a delicate dance when the Thunder could turn out to be standing in the Warriors’ way come the playoffs. Nevertheless, this is NBA free agency, and make no mistake: For the defending NBA champions, the plan of pursuit for Kevin Durant has long been in motion.
The Warriors are already the best team in the NBA by a significant margin, and there’s no telling how the addition of Durant might affect their line-up. What’s certain is that a serious roster shakeup would be necessary in order to sign Durant, although the Warriors would undoubtedly be fine with letting go of several key pieces to pave the way for a top-5 player in the NBA. Furthermore, many have speculated that Durant will resign a one-year deal with OKC to prolong his free agency until 2017, when the NBA salary cap rises.
A lot still hangs in the balance, and we won’t know about Durant’s future until the summer at the very earliest. Nevertheless, even the thought of Durant pairing up with Curry, Green, and Klay Thompson is downright frightening.