On Thursday, friends of Kevin Durant said that the 27-year-old superstar is 90 percent certain that he will return to Oklahoma City and that he is just doing his due diligence by meeting with five potential suitors this weekend.
Scott Ferrall isn’t buying this report. Neither is Shaun Powell.
“Well, there’s an old saying, and it goes, ‘Those who know, don’t tell, and those who tell, don’t know,’” the NBA.com writer said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Anything you’re hearing, that’s not coming from his confidantes. There’s a reason why they’re confidantes. But look, I think people would be pretty surprised if he did anything but sign a one-year deal and return to Oklahoma City.”
There’s a lot of logic in that. The Thunder came within one game of reaching the NBA Finals this season, so why not give it another crack with Russell Westbrook? Especially if the Warriors wind up losing Harrison Barnes and others?
“It’s a can’t-lose situation,” Powell said. “No. 1, (Durant) shows some loyalty for the short-term. He gives himself some flexibility to make even more money next summer and he has a legitimate chance of winning a championship with Oklahoma City. That’s a pretty good team, particularly after the Victor Oladipo trade. It’s not like he’s going out on a limb there. Unless he has a burning desire to join the Warriors this summer – and by the way, that option will be open next summer. He doesn’t have to rush into that. How can he lose? One year, go back to Oklahoma City, he doesn’t want people to hate him – they won’t hate him if he gives them one more year. If he leaves next summer, they’re cool with that. I mean, they wouldn’t like him to go, but the fact that he has spent eight, nine years of his prime with that franchise – you can’t ask for more than that.”
The Thunder are reportedly interested in signing Al Horford as well, but Powell doesn’t think that should be a priority.
“They don’t need to be worried about Al Horford,” he said. “They need to be worried about what Russell Westbrook is going to do next summer. If he leaves, there’s no way KD is staying long-term. They don’t even need Al Horford. They have a pretty decent frontline, some nice bigs in (Steven) Adams and (Enes) Kanter. Then you put Durant on the front line. I think they need to save (their money) because of what could happen next summer in 2017, when Westbrook and Durant will both be free agents.”