With NBA free agency set to open July 1 at 12:01 a.m. ET, there is already plenty of chatter surrounding Kevin Durant who is one of top choices for all the teams. While many teams are interested to pick the former MVP, Durant has narrowed down his choices to six teams: Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers.
Durant, who is currently in Los Angeles filming a TV commercial, will first fly to Oklahoma City with agent Rich Kleiman on Wednesday night to meet with the Thunder, according to ESPN?s Chris Broussard. But since his Thursday meeting is before the start of free agency, it will ?be focused on team direction and broader topics to meet league guidelines,? as NBA rules?preclude any team including current employers from discussing contract specifics with any free agent before free agency officially begins.
Durant will then fly from Oklahoma City to New York City for free agent meetings with the remaining five teams. The first team outside of OKC he and his agent will meet is the Warriors. Since the Warriors have been in their top form in recent years, breaking the Chicago Bulls’ regular season record with 73 wins this season and winning a title in 2015, Durant is likely to consider them as his top choice. In case Durant chooses to join the Warriors, Golden State would become one of the most talented teams in the NBA history.
The Spurs will meet with Durant on Saturday, July 2, when he is likely in the Hamptons. The remaining teams will likely meet with Durant in the Hamptons over the weekend.
According to CBSSports, Miami is an interesting position as they may not be able to sign both Dwyane Wade and Durant this summer. But Boston has plenty of cap space, future assets, an All-Star in Isaiah Thomas and the coaching expertise of Brad Stevens going for them so Durant has a good option there. Clippers too seems a pretty good choice as they have All-Stars in Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, a top defensive big man in DeAndre Jordan, so Durant joining them will make Los Angeles a top contender for the title.
The 27-year-old Durant has spent his entire nine-year career with the Thunder franchise. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 28 points, five assists and eight rebounds per game and led the Thunder to within one victory of the NBA Finals. He shot 51 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep and with his long limbs and nearly 7-foot frame, he has the ability to wreak on the defensive end. But Durant has been unable to win any title so far in his career with the Thunder, so he will definitely be looking to leave.
Meanwhile, the New York Knicks are still being considered for a possible meeting, in large part because of the strong relationships between Durant and Carmelo Anthony and Kleiman and Knicks general manager Steve Mills. However, the Los Angeles Lakers, who also are hoping to meet with Durant, will not get a meeting, according to insiders.
Durant meeting with six teams in three days seems quite a hectic schedule for him, but the Thunder star reportedly wants to meet with everyone quickly and then come to a decision before July 9, when he leaves for an international trip before joining Team USA for the Olympics.