NBA Free Agency is right around the corner and thus will begin the Summer of the Slim Reaper. Kevin Durant will be the most sought-after free agent this year and his decision will be the most anticipated since LeBron James’ in 2010.
But unlike James, Durant is much more low-key, so don’t expect any televised specials of him announcing his decision. Unlike James, Durant won’t be involved in making personnel decisions. But like James, Durant wants to win. James joined the Miami Heat because it gave him the best chance of winning an NBA championship; he had four straight trips to the NBA Finals during his tenure with two title-wins. Durant is 27 and entering the 10th year of his career. A former NBA MVP and scoring champion, he’s only appeared in the Finals once, losing to James’ Heat in five games in 2012. He knows he needs to win and he needs to win now.
Durant is reportedly scheduled to meet with the Thunder, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. He’s also considering a meeting with the New York Knicks. Here’s a look at Durant’s best possible options this summer.
1. Golden State Warriors
I know what you’re thinking, “Kevin Durant with the Warriors? That’s just not fair!” You’re right, it isn’t fair, and that’s precisely why joining Golden State is his best option. Yeah, yeah, it’s frowned upon to form “super teams” and all that blah, blah, blah. But if winning is really Durant’s top priority–not his legacy, not his friendships, not his loyalty to Oklahoma City–then signing with the Warriors is the right choice. A lineup consisting of Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green would be absolutely nightmarish for the rest of the NBA and it would be a foregone conclusion that this team would win the NBA Championship.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder were one game away from a trip to the NBA Finals. If not for an epic surge by the Warriors, maybe Durant would’ve been the one hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy instead of LeBron James. Why not give it one more try? Oklahoma City has another bona fide superstar in Russell Westbrook, and he and Durant get along just fine (as far as we know, at least). There’s also a much bigger payday waiting for Durant if he’s a free agent next year, so signing with OKC for one more year is a pretty intriguing option.
3. Boston Celtics
Yes, you read that correctly. It’s time to buy some stock in the Celtics, they’re trending upward. No player on the team is over the age of 30, and they totally exceeded expectations with a fifth-place finish in the East last season. Durant would have a much easier path to the NBA Finals in the weak conference even though he’d likely run into James’ Cavaliers in the playoffs. Still, Durant would be able to step into a new situation and make it his own from day-one. As the unquestioned leader of a young squad, he would also shoulder the pressure of carrying the team to the promise land.
Whatever he decides, Durant knows players are separated by being great and winning championships. He needs that elusive ring in order to break into that special stratosphere. “The Decision, Part Deux-rant” (See what I did there?!) will likely come sooner rather than later as Durant will be busy this summer leading the U.S. men’s national team in the 2016 Olympics.
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Tags:boston celticsgolden state warriorskevin durantlebron jameslos angeles clippersmiami heatoklahoma city thundersan antonio spursstephen curry
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