Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder are the immediate favorite since they’re the only team Durant has ever played for and there’s no obvious reason for him to leave. Durant brought the team within one game of the NBA Finals, giving him unfinished business in OKC. Durant and Russell Westbrook have formed one of the most potent duos in the NBA. The Thunder also have Billy Donovan, one of the league’s brightest young head coaches. Oklahoma City will need to break the bank in order to bring Durant back, though. With the cap going up in 2017, Durant could sign a deal worth $208 million.
The Washington Wizards are doing all they can to bring Durant back to his hometown. Washington hired Durant’s former boss in OKC, Scott Brooks, to be their next head coach. The team also hired Durant’s high school coach, David Adkins, as a player development assistant. Washington has an intriguing roster, with John Wall and Bradley Beal, who make up one of the best backcourt duos in basketball. They are primed to make it back to the playoffs. This is what Durant wants, as he doesn’t want to enter a rebuilding situation.
Miami boasts great weather, no income tax, a great roster, and top quality coaches and executives. The Heat roster already has future Hall of Famers Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (if Bosh returns healthy from blood clots). This is another team in win now mode, despite losing LeBron James in 2014. Miami may be Durant’s best chance to reach the Finals, as competition in the East isn’t as difficult as the West. Durant, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh could potentially form a new “Big 3” in Miami.
The Boston Celtics have the best situation of any team in the NBA this offseason. Three first round draft picks (including No. 3) could land them talented prospects, or it could get them stars via trade to potentially pair up with Durant. Boston has a boatload of cap space too. They could potentially add Durant and another big name free agent, which could put them in championship contention as early as next year. Durant could strike gold with the Celtics, because along with a talented roster, they have one of the NBA’s best coaches in Brad Stevens.
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