The Brooklyn Nets are funny.
They actually think it currently matters that they want to chase Kevin Durant when he becomes a free agent in 2016, and they truly believe it matters that they have the money necessary to do so.
Nothing about that statement is false right now, as Durant's current contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder really does come to a close at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, and the Nets only have $24,659,665 committed for 2016-17, per ShamSports.com.
That's the number if Deron Williams declines to use his early termination option (he will), and the Nets choose to pick up Mason Plumlee's team option (they will).
It's a brilliant plan. Truly.
No one is playing better than Durant right now, and he's proving that he's quite capable of carrying a team devoid of other stars. Especially after helping his Thunder withstand an early run from the Miami Heat en route to a statement victory, he's—by far—the leading candidate for MVP.
Oh, and he's only 25 years old. He'll be just 27 when the Nets' plan can come to fruition, and there's no telling the level he'll have reached by then as he continues to improve and move toward his prime.
D-Will recognizes this and told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News the following:
To me, it really wasn’t big market or small market. It was kind of my options (when I was a free agent). I got traded here. I don’t know if I would’ve looked here if I wasn’t traded here. For someone like (Durant), I think it makes a bigger difference because of the endorsements he’d command in a market like this. I mean, look at what he’s already doing in Oklahoma City. But at the same time, maybe he’s such a big name that it doesn’t matter where he’s at. If LeBron would’ve stayed in Cleveland, he still gets $150 (million) from Nike.
I don't think Durant really needs to worry about endorsements because, yes, he's that big of a name. Good on Williams for recognizing that, especially because K.D. is already the No. 17 highest-paid athlete in the world.
According to Forbes.com, "His seven-year deal with Nike generates the bulk of his $14 million annual off-court income. Other partners include Sprint, Gatorade, Panini and 2K Sports. He added BBVA and Degree for Men to his endorsement portfolio in 2013."
But still, at least the Nets are trying!
"So...why are they funny?" you might ask.
Do they actually think their plan is unique? Do they honestly believe they can pitch him right now? Have they truly convinced themselves that the same headline doesn't apply to every team in the league, just with a different franchise name copied and pasted into the title?
Quick. Find me a team that doesn't have enough cap space to pursue Durant's services in 2016.
I'll be waiting...for a long, long time.
Any NBA team would be crazy to avoid chasing the services of Durant, regardless of any remarks he's made in the past about whether he wants to stay in OKC or take his scoring skills to a new locale.
The Nets get a 10/10 for intention, a 10/10 for talent evaluation and a 10/10 for effort.
But in the creativity category? They're earning one of those ugly goose eggs.
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