Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant is expected to be a free agent on July 1st. If indeed that actually becomes fact nearly every NBA franchise with or without cap room will be making a play for his services. Durant, 27 is in the prime of his career and certainly one of the five best players in the entire association.
With that said, I leave you with legitimate reasons why the man affectionately known as ‘K.D.’ should remain put in OKC for at least one more season.
1. RUSSELL WESTBROOK
This alone should be the easiest reason why he should commit at least one more season to the Oklahoma City Thunder. As erratic as Westbrook can be and he truly is, there is no mistaking that he is a top five player in this league right now and has balls of steel.
Now there are many who do feel that Westbrook is a detriment to Durant and his game but Russell’s yang demeanor to KD’s ying is actually necessary and it got them within minutes from clinching a Finals berth this postseason vs the Golden State Warriors.
2. NO BETTER SHORT TERM OPTION
It can’t be lost on KD that not only did they got past the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of these playoffs. He also came damn well close to dethroning the team that won the most regular season games in NBA history in the Golden State Warriors. Just on pride alone why would he want to become a frontrunner and join those teams that frankly is already just as good — if not better than at the present moment. It would not be good for his overall legacy.
Other possible options like Boston and Miami while appealing aren’t necessary upgrades in the moment compared to what Durant has in place currently with the Thunder.
3. BILLY DONOVAN
While the transition was a bit slow during the regular season, eventually Coach Donovan figured it out and surprised many by out coaching the great Greg Popovich in OKC’s shocking 2nd round series win over the 67 win San Antonio Spurs. He even got the Thunder to the cusp of the NBA Finals. Despite blowing a 3-1 lead to the Golden State Warriors, Donovan more than proved out the gate that he’s ready to make a name for himself at the pro level after winning multiple national titles as the head guy with the Florida Gators.
Durant will make the the max regardless where he goes or stays. OKC will pay him a hefty sum both in the short AND also long term should that actually still be on the table as everyone (including myself) believes he will sign a 2-year deal with the Thunder alongside the player option in year two. To be quite honest its expected Durant if he chose to can leverage ANY situation he can so desire because of the tremendous talent that he is for as much money as possible. So in actuality, money is the last thing on the list that would actually keep Durant in Oklahoma City. But it also is just as much a reason why he would stay — in the long term. OKC can offer the 5 year max which from different projections of the salary cap (if you actually believe it), over the course of the next few years Durant can net himself in upwards of $200 million over 5 years.
It could be a factor if not this summer but definitely the next.
5. AN IMPROVED SUPPORTING CAST
What was once a detriment for this franchise in recent year became one of the reasons the Spurs went home early and became the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors record season during the conference Finals. Andre Roberson who was looked at as nothing more than a defensive specialist made big shots in big moments during their playoff run. Dion Waiters, who has always been hit or miss actually played like a productive player and of course the great Steven Adams absolutely emerged as an absolutely presence for the Oklahoma City team.
Why would Durant want to leave that NOW when he’s getting the help necessary to get over the hump. Never take that for granted.