Kevin Durant will decide his future in the coming weeks, and while Oklahoma City remains the safe bet to retain the former MVP, several other teams will be firmly in the mix.
What, ultimately, will be the deciding factor for the 27-year-old Durant?
“I think you have to look at a lot of different things,” The Vertical’s Bobby Marks said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Does he go the one-year route that a lot of us think might be in play to get his years of service up to 10 and then next year he can really cash out? Can you win a championship going forward? I think that eliminates more than a handful of teams here, and then there’s also that stability factor and just how challenging it’s going to be for them to fit him in (from) a cap standpoint. Most of these teams that he will meet with will have to really gut a little bit of their roster outside of Oklahoma City and Boston.”
Golden State is reportedly interested in Durant, but Marks doesn’t think the seven-time All-Star will end up there.
“I would be really surprised if Durant goes that route,” he said. “He certainly may, but you just lost to them in the Western Conference Finals. I understand it from Golden State’s standpoint. They fell one game short of winning the NBA championship, but you’d have to lose about three or four of your core pieces with (Harrison) Barnes, (Festus) Ezeli, (Andre) Iguodala, possibly (Andrew) Bogut. To replace them with minimums, yeah, you’d be top-heavy and your starters would be pretty outstanding, but there’s only one ball out there. You’ve got (Klay) Thompson, (Steph) Curry, Draymond (Green) and now you have Durant, there’s a fine line in case one of those players goes down because your bench support really gets diminished here. I think anybody can make it work, (but) I think (it’s) a matter of (what the roster would look like after he signs).”
That’s why Boston, despite not having a lot of star power on its current roster, is still an attractive destination, especially given its market and location (read: not in the Western Conference).
“Boston is kind of a wild card here,” Marks said. “They’re in the East, so you don’t have to bang your head against San Antonio, Golden State, Portland, the Clippers. Yes, you would have the NBA champs in your back yard with Cleveland, but basically you would really just have them and Toronto. And Boston’s got a lot of ways to improve in the future (with all of of their draft picks). Durant could walk into the Celtics meeting room and say, ‘Hey, I want to play with Al Horford,’ and they’ll be able to create room to do so. That’s why I kind of put Boston up there along with Oklahoma City.”