Kevin Durant free-agency rumors are beginning to percolate.
Which means it officially must be summer.
Much ado has already been made over his impending foray onto the open market. This speculation is nothing new. But there’s something about his free agency being less than one year away that’s fueling the conjecture fire.
Maybe it’s because 2015 free agency is starting to wind down, or because we’re starting to understand the new salary-cap climate, or because we like playing uneducated guessing games months in advance of something. Whatever it is, various rumors are starting to take shape—more so than usual.
It’s no longer just “Will KD leave the Oklahoma City Thunder,” or “Is KD Washington Wizards-bound?” Other teams are now being mentioned more consistently.
Pretty much every team, actually.
As we already went over, NBA writer Chris Palmers says the Clippers and Durant have eyes for one another:
Clippers will make a massive push for Kevin Durant next year. Mutual interest.
— Chris Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) July 6, 2015
After signing DeAndre Jordan, the Dallas Mavericks are feeling pretty cocksure themselves:
With DeAndre Jordan on board, Mavs now believe they can be a significant player for the biggest free agent prize next summer: Kevin Durant.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) July 3, 2015
Indeed, the Clippers basically believe they have a shot at Durant financially because they lost Jordan, while the Mavericks are banking on their acquisition of Jordan to lure him to Big D.
You can’t make this stuff up.
To top it all off, Fox Sports’ Sam Amico told 95.7 The Game that the Golden State Warriors will be giving chase to the Durantula as well:
Sam Amick on if the Warriors could lure Kevin Durant here "Yes, they are on the short list of teams."
— 95.7 The GAME (@957thegame) July 7, 2015
Um, short list?
This makes three teams right here, and we know both the Thunder and Wizards will receive a legitimate crack at him. We also know that the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks will get a meeting. It may be a complete formality, and Durant may not even truly consider either organization, but they will get a meeting, because they’re the Knicks and Lakers.
Throw Pat Riley and the Miami Heat on there too, because duh.
What are we up to now?
As in 26.7 percent of the entire league.
That number can easily be drummed up to 10, or 15, or 20, or more. The salary cap will go from between $67.1-$69.1 million this summer to $89 million next year. That’s not quite a max-contract jump, but it’s damn close. And so, as a result, there will likely be at least 20 teams with the means to offer Durant a max deal.
Prepare yourself, then, for a hectic 11-plus months.
If you thought these KD rumors were something, you ain’t seen nothing yet.