NBA free agency starts officially on Friday with Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant being the number one name for the top teams in the league. They know how talented and gifted Durant is on the court offensively and somewhat defensively. Durant’s mindset going into free agency is simple: putting himself in the best position on winning an NBA championship. Here are the seven teams in order on their chance signing Durant.
7. New York Knicks
Now why are the Knicks are on the list even if the meetings are held in New York? Well, they upgraded the backcourt acquiring Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls in a trade. President Phil Jackson told Rose that they want to focus their attention on getting Durant in free agency, possibly luring him into some magical fairy tale on making the Knicks a championship contender.
Even with Carmelo Anthony, Rose and Kristaps Porzingis as the big three, still have questions regarding the shooting guard and center position along with a good bench. Still unlikely Durant will sign with the Knicks, but you never know.
6. Miami Heat
It would be interesting to see Durant join a winning franchise in the Miami Heat led by Pat Riley. He is well known in bringing free agents to play with Dwyane Wade, the franchise player since he was drafted by the team in 2003. Losing LeBron James may have took the team back in terms of winning a championship. However, they are still a contender in an average eastern conference, even if Chris Bosh can’t play due to life-threatening health issues.
Depending on Hassan Whiteside signing back with the Heat, Riley has to find another way in convincing Durant to sign with the franchise. The core is there and the bench is average at best, but it depends on Whiteside and the cap situation on getting Durant in free agency.
5. Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers, not Lakers, are in discussion to get Durant despite some rivalries between each other. For this franchise moving forward, too much bad luck and early exits may hinder their chance. Chris Paul isn’t getting any younger, Blake Griffin is what he is despite making small improvements and DeAndre Jordan still can’t develop a post game.
Doc Rivers doing pretty much everything for the Clippers still has a problem in finishing off a series since his early days with the Orlando Magic. Rivers may have won a championship with the Boston Celtics, but still has doubters looking at him as a guy who might have just gotten lucky in 2008. Does Durant really want to be part of that?
4. Boston Celtics
Probably one of the best teams in the offseason in terms of getting any potential star. The Boston Celtics have a winning culture since the Bill Russell years to Larry Bird and Paul Pierce. All of these stars have one thing in common: delivering a championship to a historic town. Maybe Durant wants to be part of a culture always accustom to winning.
They already have an all-star in Isiah Thomas, a gritty defensive team overall and a smart savvy coach in Brad Stevens. The Celtics can easily challenge LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the eastern conference if they acquire Durant. It’s best situation for Durant, and maybe will end the talk of him getting a championship.
3. San Antonio Spurs
The most consistent franchise in the league continuing to do whatever it takes on winning, and yet they put their interest in Durant. The old big three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker could be coming to close after the disappointing loss against OKC. For the San Antonio Spurs, they still have a two-time defensive player in Kawhi Lenoard paired with a scoring power forward in LaMarcus Aldridge.
The bench still one of the best in the league. Gregg Popovich will still coach for many years. Durant being part of that culture sounds crazy and a coward move to do. But if any franchise can pull this off, it’s the Spurs.
2. Golden State Warriors
A franchise that was one minute away from winning a championship, goes into July with questions on what to do next. The core is set with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The front office has a decision to make on Harrison Barnes coming back, and slowly but surely, the eyes focus on Durant.
Imagine having him alongside the core and a great bench to the best team in the league yet again. They will be the most hated team, putting themselves as an evil empire orchestra by Steve Kerr. There were reports of him being interested to that offer, will it happen?
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
Why would he leave his franchise with an explosive point guard (Russell Westbrook) and the best talented roster in the league. The coach Billy Donovan show flashes of making smart decisions off the fly even in his first year. They did a terrific trade in acquiring Victor Oladipo and drafting Domantas Sabonis.
The Thunder were one win away from heading to the NBA Finals, possibly beating the a Cavaliers team not as talented as them. Durant will get more money if he signs for one year plus a player option next season. Everyone sees this being the best fit and it’s up to Durant on what he wants.