This NBA season hasn’t tipped off yet, but it wouldn’t be the NBA if we weren’t already getting our ducks in a row talking about what’s gonna happen next year and beyond. And so it goes that we’ve already had two morsels of opinion from reporters connected with Kevin Durant that his third season in Golden State could very well be his last.
Last week, Chris Haynes, formerly of ESPN and now of Yahoo, went on Undisputed and said that the Knicks have a “very good shot” of luring Durant away from the Warriors. This week, The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson did a radio interview with KNBR and said, “I feel like he is gone… It does have that vibe, like, ‘This is it. This could be it right here.’”
Thompson and Haynes are two people who would be informed on this topic, and it is starting to feel like last year around this time when it felt like every connected NBA reporter on the planet was forecasting that it would be LeBron James’ final year in Cleveland.
The major difference now is that while everyone and their mom knew that LeBron was going to the Lakers, there are several destinations that could conceivably be on Durant’s radar. Haynes already floated the Knicks. Durant grew up outside Washington DC and a Twitter account that looked like it could have been one of his burners but was not confirmed as much as said he’d go to the Wizards (note: the account that made the screengrabs has been suspended from Twitter, but I remember what they said).
You could make cases for the Heat (remember Bill Simmons talking about how Pat Riley was in pursuit two years ago?) or Clippers (never count out Jerry West). The Lakers make sense in that you know LeBron would want him there (my boss Jason McIntyre has indicated the Lakers will go after him), but if Durant leaves the Warriors you’d think it’s because he wants to prove he can win an NBA title as the true alpha.
Anyways, we still have a whole season to play, but at this point it wouldn’t surprise anyone if this time next year Durant is playing in a different city.