Will Kevin Durant Stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder?
Over the years we’ve seen plenty of hometown heroes pack their bags and head to more promising pastures. It’s a trend that’s become increasingly popular in this modern age of basketball, as superstars have a desire to protect their legacy by any means necessary, even if that includes leaving behind their biggest fans.
From Dwight Howard, to Carmelo Anthony, to James Harden and even Chris Paul, the list goes on and on. But it’s not always the player’s fault.
Often these superstars aren’t being compensated for their actual worth, while others are tired of continually losing and begging management to surround them with adequate talent.
Although it’s still 2 years away, Kevin Durant is one of those superstars that may consider other possible destinations once his contract expires, if he feels it’s in his best interest.
So far the Thunder have enjoyed vast success in the Western Conference, clinching 5 straight playoff berths, 3 Conference Finals appearances and one NBA Finals appearance as well, prompting many to believe there’s no reason for Kevin Durant to consider anywhere else.
But when you start to evaluate the type of roster Durant has been surrounded with over the last few seasons, it makes you wonder if Thunder management has done everything they could to satisfy their superstar.
Don’t get me wrong, the crop of talent the team possesses is full of studs like Serge Ibaka, Jeremy Lamb, Reggie Jackson, Steven Adams and of course Russell Westbrook.
However they’ve often chosen to develop young talent within their own system instead of acquiring proven players, a method that can be both cost effective but also detrimental to their potential championship odds.
Take this offseason. One of the biggest needs for the Thunder heading into this year is a go-to post player to pair next to Serge Ibaka, as the team ranked a ghastly 22nd in their percentage of points in the paint last season.
Instead of acquiring an offensive minded veteran center to alleviate this issue, they opted to put their chips into the development of Steven Adams, a guy that has potential, but really isn’t considered a strong offensive option inside.
And even though they did try to go after Pau Gasol, in order to do so, it was essential they free up cap space by amnestying Kendrick Perkins – a move that they didn’t feel comfortable doing.
To know whether or not Kevin Durant will stay in Oklahoma City is a mystery to all of us. So far Thunder management has shown they’re more than capable of developing young talent into studs.
But if the potential of guys like Jeremy Lamb, Reggie Jackson and Steven Adams are never reached, we could be looking at a team that may not have enough firepower to grab an NBA Title if they’re unwilling to make a serious move in the next 2 seasons.
This could play a huge role in Durant’s decision in 2016. Does he want to wait a few more years for a young prospect to develop into exactly what they need in order to win an NBA Title?
Or rather go somewhere else that already has the necessary talent in place?
Personally I feel there’s no better option for Durant than to stay exactly where he is, but he may feel his legacy is best preserved elsewhere, if the Thunder are still unable to land him the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Already we’ve heard rumors from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith stating that Durant would consider playing for the Washington Wizards, and there’s bound to be plenty of other potential suitors by the time 2016 rolls around.
In order to secure their superstar, it’s essential the Thunder prove to him they’re more than capable of landing him a title in the next few years. If not, it could prove to be the biggest mistake the franchise has ever made.
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