The drama of the Finals is over, but that doesn't mean the NBA soap opera is going on hiatus. With free agency tipping off July 1, teams are preparing their pitches to the sought-after stars.
And barring an unexpected decision from LeBron James, no free agent will be more heavily recruited than Kevin Durant. The four-time scoring champ is still seeking his first title, the missing piece in an all-but-assured Hall of Fame career.
At the release of his KD9 sneakers, Durant discussed what will be one of the main factors of his free-agent decisions.
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"I'm worried about basketball," Durant said Monday. "That's what it is for me. It's a basketball decision. I'm looking forward to the future."
Full Kevin Durant quote on free agency at his KD9 shoe release: pic.twitter.com/VtgkH5yVo8— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 20, 2016
Championships have become the deciding factor in the way today's players are judged. Durant has just one Finals appearance in his first nine years I the NBA, leaving him as one of a handful of superstars still seeking his first title.
With the cap increasing to $94 million thanks to the new television deals, a number of teams reportedly will pitch the seven-time All-Star. The Wizards, Heat and Warriors have rumored to have interest in Durant, who could opt to re-sign with the Thunder on a two-year deal with an opt-out clause for the second year. If he opts to go that route, he could be a free agent next summer and command a max contract close to $200 million.
If winning a title as quickly as possible is Durant's No. 1 concern, it would be tough for him to leave the Thunder, who were one win from advancing to the NBA Finals. Durant could opt to join the Warriors, who would have to lose some key pieces to fit him under the cap. Teaming up with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green would make the Warriors the overwhelming favorite to win next year's title, but would the addition disrupt their on-court chemistry?