The 7 time All-Star, Kevin Durant is going to be a highly sought after free agent this off season when the NBA Playoffs are completed. He made a little under 90 million during his time in Oklahoma City, while scoring 17,000+ points and snagging 4500+ rebounds in his 9 year career. He will also be garnishing a ton of expected attention from many other teams looking for the “final piece”, or “the big draw” to their teams to help them in their quest to become a world champion.
The “Durantula” has been nothing short of outstanding in his excellent career, doing everything he could do in his power to get his team to the next level, including getting them to the NBA Finals in 2011-2012. Where he was outstanding, but attention was drawn away from their truest star, by their shooting PG, Russell Westbrook. He was getting 4 less shots/game compared to his “point guard,” who Durant was shooting much better than, at 54-41%. And Westbrook, at times, took over considerably, with seemingly his own game plan entirely at times. Maybe a change would be in the best interest for Durant, at this point in his career, for the upcoming talented free agent.
Some teams that I feel would be definite landing pads for Durant to have a strong chance at going to in the summer are the Pelicans, the Celtics, the Raptors, or even the Clippers. I am going to break down the team I think would be the best fits for him to go to.
The Raptors should make a heavy push to get Durant. They already have some excellent players in DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and big boy rebounder, Jonas Valanciunas. If they were able to make a move ad get Durant, that could be an insane grab. They have some flexibility and could trade a producing veteran, like DeMarre Carroll or talented youngster, Terrence Ross and even a 1st rounder to get him. I also think they have a very real shot at doing such.
This last year has shown me that the Raptors have finally found a real identity and are going to be a contender for years to come. The East, on the whole, is a weaker conference, and the Raptors can make a very real run for the tittle, with a serous move like that.
Another team, I think would be a great fit would be the Boston Celtics. They would already have a fantastic supporting cast that would accommodate his style of play, and he’d at last have a good coach in Brad Stevens. If the C’s could land him, they would be the “Beast of the East” for several years down the road, that is a guarantee.
They have the complete package for him to join. They have a backcourt with Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, both who can score and both are not afraid to give up the ball when they are instructed to do so. They have a lock down defending guard, as well in Bradley, and an underrated shooter, and defender, in Jae Crowder. By adding Durant they get the explosive “superstar” that has the very real capabilities to drop 40-45 on any hot night. And on top of that, Boston has the cap space to make the moves necessary with over 50 million to spend. As well as they have a talented bench which is possibly one of the best in the NBA. If there is a Coach who can satisfy the needs of a Durant, Stevens is just that.
Cleveland is currently the only real contender in the Eastern Conference. They have packaged the team to beat across the board, for now, to make other teams very concerned when they come to their doorstep. They have beaten the Celtics, and the Raptors, 8-5 combined in their last 2 seasons’ matchups. With LeBron James, Kyrie and KLove they have a power squad every night. This is a pretty common agreement amongst the majority of fans. KD to Boston would definitely put them over the top. And Coach Stevens would coach circles around Tyronn Lue.
Beyond it simply being a great fit, system wise, the history in Boston is very rich and the fan support is top notch. He could ask legends, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen, when they went to Beantown. Durant could really build himself a mighty legacy and become immortalized as a Boston legend, to stand next to the other greats.
Things to consider, if Durant goes to a team, like the Clippers, I question if everyone will jump on him for it, just like they did with Lebron and when he went to the Heat. Taking off to a team that is already very good ( a top 2 finish in their division every year since 2011-2012 and 5 straight playoff appearance in the last 5 seasons )and make them just that much better, is often frowned upon in any sport, basketball in particular. Because it has been happening so much lately. Basketball is dictated by the players now, not by the teams themselves. It’s unfortunate, the times have changed. Loyalty to a team is only and oftentimes only as loyal as the dollar they put in your pocket, or the players you can join up with. Players in this generation simply don’t have the killer instinct to stick with a team, through thick and thin, defeating everyone in their path anymore, we have “witnessed it” before.
And it wold be essentially the same exact thing that LeBron did. Just that Durant would be leaving a much better supporting cast in Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. LeBron was dragged through the mud for leaving a team with Sebastian Telfair, Delonte West and Anthony Parker, and still got them through 5 Eastern conference semis, 2 Eastern conference finals, and a Championship game while carrying that well below average team, on his shoulders. So I really hope if he goes to a power contender, that his name is brought up in the same path as LeBron. Otherwise, it is bluntly biased and uncalled for.
Although, I feel the main reason LeBron has been hated so much for going to Miami, was the way he approached it. The outlandish TV special was just beyond ridiculous. Not condoning the idiocy of it, but I am sure if he had the chance to get a “do over” he would do it very differently. I think he was a young guy, with bad advice and counsel, and he has apologized for the renowned debacle numerous times.
Wherever Durant decides to go, if he leaves, he will make them for the better. I am hoping he goes to a team that is on the brink, like the Celtics, a place where he is gong to bring them to the next step. If the C’s could lure him to Boston they will win another NBA Championship, and could build another dynasty for the next 5+ years. Rumors also have the NY Knicks and Miami Heat very interested.
Written by Tony Karpinski of VegasTopDogs.com