Rumors have been flying around all year of where Kevin Durant will be heading after his contract is up after this season. With free agency right around the corner, the rumors of where Kevin Durant will land are getting hot. Obviously, nobody except for the man himself knows what’s going to happen in the next few months. Everything is just pure speculation until he finally decides where he will take his talents. But, it’s fun to speculate, so here’s my ranking of which teams KD could head to this offseason.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Of course, you have to assume that Oklahoma City has to be on the top of Kevin Durant’s list. He’s spent his whole career playing for the Seattle Supersonics/Oklahoma City Thunder franchises. He has consistently been atop of the Western Conference standings for the past couple years when healthy with the Thunder. With one NBA Finals appearance and numerous conference final appearances under his belt, it wouldn’t shock anybody if he decided to stay put in Oklahoma City. Although it may be frustrating to lose game 7 in the conference finals, especially when you were up 3-1, it shows how close the Thunder was to making it to the Finals. Without KD the Thunder will not be able to repeat their success next season, but with the return of KD, they could find themselves back in the same position, if not farther.
San Antonio Spurs
At number two I have a team that’s been making a case for Durant to join, the San Antonio Spurs. Imagine a team with reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard, an all-star forward in LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Durant? That’s a scary lineup that could give the Warriors a scare in the Western Conference. The only issue with this dream scenario is cap space. Kevin Durant will be getting paid the max this year, and although I’m sure the Spurs would have no problem offering that much money to him, you have to think about the rest of the team. With the addition of Durant’s huge contract, that would leave the Spurs paying a majority of their cap money to three-star players. This would leave them very little room to add on players to surround their big three. And with Tony Parker making close to $30M over the next two seasons, that doesn’t help as well. This could work, but the Spurs would have to adjust with contracts and bringing in guys to surround their stars with.
Pure dark horses in the Kevin Durant lottery, the Boston Celtics have climbed the ladder for teams that could land Durant this offseason. With a projected $50M in cap this offseason and owning the third overall pick in this year’s draft, the Celtics could make a lot of noise this offseason, starting with signing Durant. Durant’s agent made it known KD wants to join a big three, like LeBron in Miami. Boston can make that happen; Danny Ainge can make sure this happens. They have enough money to sign KD and another star for a near-max contract, while either drafting a young prospect or trading the third pick and other valuable pieces (Crowder, Smart, Bradley) for another star player. Plus the C’s have seven other picks in this year’s draft, so they have a lot of pieces to add to a deal to sweeten the pot. If KD joins Boston they immediately become championship contenders. Winning 48 games last season with no star (unless you count Isaiah), who knows how many wins they’d get next season with the addition of Durant and other free agents and young prospects. Kevin has as good of a chance to win a title in Boston as any other contending team he could join.
Golden State Warriors
Imagine if Kevin Durant joined up with the Golden State Warriors; the team that broke the record for best regular-season record of all time? Well, this could very much happen this offseason. This team would be unstoppable and it would be very difficult for anybody to beat them. But like the Spurs, a scenario like this is difficult to happen because of cap space. With Curry and Thompson expected to receive max deals in the next few years, plus Draymond getting paid $15M a year and then adding Durant’s contract, money would be an issue. That’s a hell of a starting lineup if you asked me, but they’d have no money to spend to surround their stars. As enticing as it is, the Warriors shouldn’t try to get Durant this offseason in my opinion. Why fix something that isn’t broken? They don’t need KD to win championships. KD would join Golden State in search of winning championships.