Sep 6, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
When Kevin Durant switched agents to Jay Z’s Roc Nation, there were some fans trying to suggest this was KD’s first step out of the NBA’s second smallest market, Oklahoma City.
Now he has said again he has no plans to leave.
He is on a tour of Europe to sell some Nikes and while in France he did a Q&A with fans where he was asked directly about his plans to bolt. Royce Young at Daily Thunder found the video of the interview and had Durant’s answer.
“I like where I’m at right now. I enjoy playing for OKC. As of today, I love it there, man. I want to be there. I love the fans, I love my team, I love everything about the city. I don’t have any plans to move.”
First, the facts: Durant is under contract for this season and two more after it. He is on a max deal and is not a free agent until the summer of 2016.
There are two ways to look at this.
First is the version I went with in my headline — he says he has no plans to move. He’s happy. There are plenty of NBA stars who are restless in small and middle sized markets and are looking to bolt at the first chance, but Durant is built differently. He has a personality that works well in the smaller market. If any superstar player could spend his career outside big cities, it could be Durant.
The other way to view it is to blow up his “as of today” comment as a sign he could leave come 2016. If he was frustrated at the cost saving moves of the Thunder had left them without James Harden or Kevin Martin, you could understand that.
The reality here is pretty simple — Durant wants to win. Multiple titles. When he can be a free agent in 2016 he is going to make a decision about OKC based on how the team has done and how it is poised for the future. It will be about how much he trusts the front office of the organization. It’s the same calculation every star player has to make: Kobe Bryant in 2004, LeBron James with the Cavaliers, even Dwight Howard with the Lakers this summer.
Right now, with the team they have in OKC and the opportunities in front of him, it’s hard to picture Durant leaving. But in three seasons things could feel radically different. Three years is an NBA eternity.
I’m sure between now and then Durant will get asked variations of this same question 453,971 times, so we can discuss plenty more over the next few years.
Jul 9, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT
Houston would have 72 hours to match max or near-max offer
Jul 9, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT
Popovich used to joke he was leaving when Duncan does, but he’s having fun now.
Jul 9, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
LeBron James’ max: $118,539,139 over five years
Carmelo Anthony’s max: $129,135,810 over five years
Jul 9, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT
It’s a real long shot, but if the Cavs actually land LeBron they should swing for the fences.
Jul 9, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT
The NBA business is good.
Jul 9, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT
He was never really in the mix to join LeBron anywhere, the two hadn’t been talking.
Charlie Villanueva launches ‘Crossroads’ webisode series documenting his free agency experience (VIDEO)
Jul 9, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
Eight-part video blog series takes you behind the scenes.
Jul 9, 2014, 2:47 PM EDT
Maybe this isn the first domino of free agency, the question is what way it falls.
Jul 9, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT
A move from Miami to Cleveland, for example, wouldn’t be so bad.
Jul 9, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
The Pelicans need help at the three, Howard trying to prove he can still help at age 34.
Jazz expected to match Hornets’ max contract offer to Gordon Hayward, which is absolutely the right decision
Jul 9, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT
Small market teams like Utah and Charlotte don’t have much of a choice.
Jul 9, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT
A Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, Chandler Parsons starting lineup would be interesting.
Jul 9, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
It’s all part of the LeBron chase.
Jul 9, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT
KD does love him some Derek Fisher.
Jul 9, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT
Cleveland now has the cap space to offer LeBron the max contract he’ll require.
Jul 9, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
Noel impresses for the second straight game.
Jul 9, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT
Bulls, Knicks and Lakers seem like likely landing spots for Gasol. But everyone is waiting on Carmelo Anthony before looking elsewhere for help in free agency.
Report: Carmelo Anthony wants LeBron to come to Knicks; Phil Jackson trying to clear cap space to get it done
Jul 9, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT
Jul 9, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT
Crawford doesn’t fit in crowded Golden State backcourt.
Jul 9, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Hairston apologizes to Hornets fans, not the guy he punched.
- Report: Mavericks shake up Rockets’ free-agent plans, agree to offer sheet with Chandler Parsons 4
- Gregg Popovich agrees to extension with Spurs, likely stays past Tim Duncan era 5
- Report: Cavaliers want to swing Kevin Love trade if LeBron James comes to town 36
- NBA salary cap jumps nearly $5 million next year to $63 million, luxury tax line $76.8 million 7
- Report: Carmelo Anthony to choose New York, announcement Thursday. Agent denies. 63
- Reports: It’s LeBron, agent, Pat Riley alone in a room Wednesday afternoon In Vegas 49
- Report: Cavaliers agree to trade with Nets, Celtics, clearing cap space for LeBron James 115
- Report: Gordon Hayward agrees to max offer sheet with Hornets 52