1. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
The most likely option for Kevin Durant. Plus they increased their chances at last week’s NBA Draft by immediately improving their roster in trading away Serge Ibaka to Orlando for Victor Oladipo, Elyan Ilyosova and ready to play rookie Sabonis. While I don’t see a long term commitment for OKC at this time, with an improved roster the Thunder are now one of the title favorites next season and that may play into whether Durant commits long term should they win a championship.
2. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Had the Warriors won back to back titles in these Finals, the idea of Durant going to the Bay Area would’ve been looked at as a star player piggybacking on an already made championship team looking to chat rings. Instead Golden State’s historic Finals loss could be easily sold now as a team who’s missing a piece. Outside OKC, the Warriors stand as the best fit and can financially make it all possible. Plus there is a comfort of having Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and (eventually) Steph Curry locked in long term.
3. MIAMI HEAT
The only reason Miami always has a chance to land “a whale” is because of who does the talking in meetings. It’s all too well known that Pat Riley’s recruiting tactics and act of persuasion is the stuff of legend. While I don’t see him necessarily convincing Durant to take his talents to South Beach this summer, he can open the door of possibilities for next summer should Durant return to Oklahoma City on a one year deal. Never count out The Godfather.
4. BOSTON CELTICS
Before the NBA Draft I would’ve said the Celtics were a huge day horse. Today — Beantown even with the amount of draft picks they possess from now till eternity isn’t as attractive. Danny Ainge may have dropped the ball last week by not pressing to move many of his assets and/or draft picks for a Top 15 player to sell Durant into playing with.
5. SAN ANTONIO SPURS
I understand the attraction to the Spurs. Stability top to bottom. I have them this low cause I don’t know if Durant really wants to come to a team that first off — he beat in the second round of the NBA playoffs and the “better” option in OKC improved this roster. Plus would he really be a good fit alongside Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge?
I have my doubts personally.
6. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
The longest of long shots but hey — they got the meeting with Durant and his representatives. The Clippers do have the talent. Do they have the fit? Plus will they be able to keep both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin on the roster long term seeing as both guys will be unrestricted free agents in 2017. Don’t see the Clips having a shot but the roster could be somewhat attractive to a guy like Durant.