Kevin Durant will be the most high-profile free agent since LeBron James in 2010 at the culmination of this regular season, whether the Thunder are able to get over that NBA Finals hump or not. Rumors have Durant as a strong candidate to be the newest addition to a number of teams, including but not limited to his hometown Washington Wizards and the merciless Golden State Warriors, but KD himself has yet to indicate that he’ll even be leaving the Thunder, let alone for where.
There’s been incessant speculation over the years over Durant’s relationship with both the organization and Russell Westbrook, which is where most free agency rumors emanate from. Westbrook, now one of the five best players in the league, was the clear second fiddle to Durant just a few years ago. Now, some believe he’s the best player on the team. As far as the Thunder go, Durant’s faith in newly hired head coach Billy Donovan will also play a role, but considering Oklahoma City’s dismaying month of February, that is also not a foregone conclusion. The drama unfolding in the media concerning these side stories will only be exacerbated come playoff time, especially if the Thunder can’t best the Spurs and Warriors en route to their first Finals berth since 2012, which will likely be the toughest road to a Western Conference Championship in NBA history. Still, Durant, in his 9th season, maintains that he doesn’t have a “Finals or bust” ultimatum with the team that drafted him with the second pick of the 2007 NBA Draft.
Twitter-friendly transcript of Kevin Durant on the report of a Finals or bust free agency ultimatum for OKC: pic.twitter.com/dripYw4tCb
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 8, 2016
Only time will tell, but it’s still anyone’s guess what happens this summer. It doesn’t end for the Thunder, however, considering Westbrook’s contract is up the very next summer. What a time to work in the OKC front office.