In this week’s NBA Rumors, let’s talk a situation that may not be as crazy as it sounds.
What if Kevin Durant were to come back to the Oklahoma City Thunder next season? It’s possible this could happen, here’s how.
Durant is basically on a one year rental with the Golden State Warriors. At the end of this year, he could hit the market again and the free agency swooning will be on repeat. But, would or could a team actually have a legit shot outside of the Warriors and Thunder?
To date, there’s no real beef between Durant and Russell Westbrook, except for the one that the media is trying to create. The Warriors will be in a world of trouble as the 2016-17 season closes. They must pay Stephen Curry, Durant and still find the cash to pay Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
Curry will cost them in the ballpark of $25-30M per season. Iggy will cost the Warriors somewhere in the range of $13M per and then there’s Durant with his $26M. The Warriors may be able to pull this off but a lot depends on how their season ends. If they were to win the NBA title, then the rental was worth it but, if they were to lose, they will be looking for an escape goat, then a way out.[embedit snippet=”2″]
Letting Curry go is a no-no. Keeping Iguodala is also a must but, will Durant’s contract prove to be too much for the team to handle?
To be honest, they have no choice but to sit and wait. Durant has the power here. If he wins a ring, mission accomplished, if he loses then, it wasn’t meant to be. Washington DC is his personal birthplace but Oklahoma City is home. The fans and teammates were rightfully hurt by his decision to leave but that was a business and professional decision more than anything else. This is what LeBron James went through when he left Cleveland for Miami. He won two rings, then did the unthinkable and went back home to Cleveland and won a ring there.
Who’s to say that Durant can’t, or won’t do the same?
The Thunder, depending on how bad they want to win can actually pull this off. But, it depends on how bad Durant wants to come back. OKC still has a little wiggle room after signing Westbrook, Oladipo and Enes Kanter this offseason. But the money left is not enough to cover Durant’s current yearly price tag of $26M. But, here is where it can all come together. The Thunder can keep their current roster and play the role of many NBA teams and hit the luxury tax with Durant’s full salary or he can take a hometown discount and the team can bring in a player or two for the bench.
Imagine a lineup that will feature Durant, Westbrook. Adams, Kanter, and Oladipo. They may not win 73 games but they will contend for a championship.