In the beginning, Kevin Durant had the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat as his options. After meetings, talks and presentations, it seems that it’s down to three teams.
Rumor has it Durant will make his decision known in about 24 hours. The Clippers have been notified to move on, and waiting for this long has cost them a little bit, losing Jamal Crawford and Jeff Green. The Miami Heat are also, probably, out of the running, possibly because of Dwyane Wade actively shopping himself to other teams like the New York Knicks or the Milwaukee Bucks. And the Spurs, Durant possibly feels, didn’t go out of their way to make it feel like they’d do anything to get him. The Spurs have their way of doing business, and they didn’t change it for Durant.
So it’s down to the Thunder, who probably get another shot at talking with Durant before he makes up his mind, the Celtics, who have really moved up in his personal rankings by adding Al Horford, a player that the Thunder were hoping to sign, and the Warriors, simply for being a team that’s loaded with talent and coming off two consecutive NBA finals – one they won, and another they lost on a game 7. And even if Durant chooses another team, the Thunder can just lock him in his house and make him change his mind, like the DeAndre Jordan case of last season, which has probably inspired crossed teammates and disappointed general managers everywhere.
Part of the pitch by the Celtics was having Tom Brady convince Durant about how great and special it is to play in Boston. The Celtics are also hoping to pull off a trade that gives them DeMarcus Cousins, if Durant signs, Their ambition might be the winning touch in the Durant sweepstakes.
The Warriors need an answer soon. Harrison Barnes got the max contract offer from the Dallas Mavericks. He’s a restricted free agent, which means the Warriors have time to match the offer and keep him. Obviously, it won’t happen if they sign Durant. Even if they don’t, is Barnes worth $95 million over four years? Team reps have said a number of times they’ll match any offer Barnes gets if they don’t sign Durant, but there’s also going to be a weird vibe in the club, as the Warriors players went in on the meeting with Durant. It’s just business, but people do they it personal.