Kevin Durant: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Thunder Star's Future

Danny Webster@@DannyWebster21Analyst III

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) drives against Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea during the first half in Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Thursday, April 21, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Associated Press

The biggest name in NBA free agency this summer is former MVP Kevin Durant, and top title contenders are competing to acquire his services. It is uncertain which teams are favored and if Durant will sign a short- or long-term contract.

Continue for updates.


Latest on Teams Scheduled to Meet with Durant

Wednesday, June 29

ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported on June 24 that the Oklahoma City ThunderGolden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs were the first known teams with which Durant will meet. ESPN's Chris Broussard reported Wednesday that Durant will meet with the Thunder first on Thursday before flying to New York to meet with the Warriors on Friday.

Broussard, citing sources, reported Monday that "Durant and his representatives have added free-agency meetings with the Boston CelticsMiami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers." Broussard added Wednesday that the meetings with these teams, including the Spurs, will take place over the "first few days of July."

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, citing a source, reported the meeting with the Clippers will to take place in New York with head coach Doc Rivers and owner Steve Ballmer among the executives expected to be present.

ESPN.com noted that "Durant is also considering meeting with the New York Knicks." However, ESPN.com's Ian Begley, citing sources, reported Sunday that "no meeting has been scheduled—or agreed to—between the Knicks and Durant."

The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on June 24 that Durant's decision is expected prior to July 9. On Tuesday, Wojnarowski reported Durant plans on conducting his free-agent meetings in the Hamptons on Long Island in New York on Friday and Saturday.


Lakers Not Giving Up on Durant Pursuit

Wednesday, June 29

"I can't imagine Durant wouldn't talk to us," a Los Angeles Lakers source said on Tuesday, per Broussard. "That would shock me." However, Broussard, citing sources, reported on Wednesday that the Lakers will not get a meeting with Durant despite their wishful thinking.

On June 25, USA Today's Sam Amick reported the Lakers "are not expected" to land a meeting for Durant.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report passed along Durant's feelings on a potential move to the Lakers on June 2, but added it "makes neither financial nor competitive sense to jump now." 

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith previously reported the Lakers had come up as a possibility, though Durant denied it.

Smith stated on ESPN's First Take on Sept. 29, "Regardless of how senseless it may [sound], in one breath I'm hearing that if [Durant] doesn't stay in Oklahoma City, L.A. is his primary objective and landing spot as opposed to South Beach or even his home of Washington, D.C."

Smith also believes Westbrook would follow Durant to L.A. in 2017.

"I don't talk to Stephen A. Smith at all," Durant told reporters Oct. 2. "Nobody in my family, my friends—they don't talk to Stephen A Smith. So he's lying."


Hawks Reportedly Hold Hopes of Landing Durant

Tuesday, June 28

Stein reported the Atlanta Hawks are "trying to wedge their way" into the chase for Durant.

Stein, citing sources, reported the Hawks "have been working to try to persuade Durant and his representatives to have a face-to-face recruiting meeting after free agency starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, even though their chances appear dim."

Stein said a "source of hope" for the Hawks is Grant Hill's presence in the team's ownership group, noting Hill would be "expected to lead Atlanta's lobbying efforts."

Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on May 31, "The [Atlanta] Hawks, led by owner Tony Ressler, are expected to make a strong push for Durant."


Durant Reportedly to Sign One-Year Deal 

Monday, June 27

When appearing on Tiki and Tierney on CBS Sports Radio, Wojnarowski reported on the most likely scenario for Durant in free agency (via Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation): “I’m told even if he left, he would do a one-year deal. Economically, it makes sense for him to do a one-year deal and then do the longer deal after it. It’ll be worth more money because the cap goes up next year.”

Wojnarowski added the Thunder remain "a strong front-runner" to retain Durant.

However, Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported from a source on June 2 that Durant wasn't a lock to accept a short-term deal this offseason:

He is not the kind of guy who wants to fiddle around in free agency and sort of play the system that way. That is not his personality. He likes stability and it is kind of a gamble to be taking a short contract and then trying to come back and do it all over again in a year. That’s the other thing. He is not someone who wants to go through this twice, I really don't think. It's no sure thing.


Knicks to Pursue Durant

Monday, June 27

Frank Isola of the New York Daily news reported June 23 that Knicks president Phil Jackson told newly acquired point guard Derrick Rose that the team plans to pursue Durant in free agency.

When asked Monday if he would meet with the Knicks, Durant replied, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post"I don’t know. We’ll see in the next (few days)...I've got to talk to my people."

Earlier on Monday, Stein noted Carmelo Anthony told ESPN the following about recruiting Durant: "We've been together. We've been talking."

Stein later shared more comments from Anthony on Durant:

‎You know, for me, it's more just about just laying it all out for him, giving him the real.

Being in that situation before and knowing how much he has to think about‎ and what he has go through, him not wanting to leave Oklahoma ‎(after) all the time that he spent there, ‎I felt the same way when I was in Denver, spending 7 1/2 years there and then to have to make a decision‎. But you leave it up to him. He's going to make the best decision for him. I think that's the most important thing‎.

Durant spoke to reporters on Monday regarding the Knicks, saying: "Obviously they have a good team now with D-Rose and Melo and [Kristaps] Porzingis so I will talk to my team and we will figure things out."

Begley reported May 31, citing league sources, that Porzingis and his friendship with Anthony "are two factors that will likely play a role in how Durant views the Knicks."

Begley also noted Durant "has told friends that he's a big fan" of Porzingis and called him a "unicorn" last season.

However, Durant "made it known at the time that he was unhappy" with the team's decision to fire Derek Fisher midseason.

"Privately, some folks with the Knicks believed they had a decent shot to land Durant when Fisher was on the sideline," Begley said. He added that Fisher's firing could be a "big potential strike against New York."


Durant Interested in Warriors

Monday, June 27

Klay Thompson told Justin Termine of SiriusXM NBA that he's going to "give [Durant] space" while the two are playing with Team USA, but added he will do "whatever it takes" to bring Durant to the Warriors.

Isola reported June 21, citing a source, that "if Durant doesn't re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder he would prefer to join the Warriors." Stein, citing sources, added "Durant is by no means Golden State's lone target in free agency but stressed that he'll indeed be the Warriors' top target when the offseason marketplace opens July 1."

Wojnarowski first noted on Feb. 2 that the Warriors were considered a threat to sign Durant and create a trio of Durant, Thompson and Stephen Curry.


Wizards Reportedly Unable to Land Durant Meeting

Saturday, June 25

Durant is not expected Washington Wizards, according to Amick.

In regard to the Wizards, Amick added, "They’re taking the two-track approach: patiently waiting on Durant’s call with hopes of being surprised while moving on with their non-Durant free-agency plans so as not to be slowed down by a pipe dream."


Rockets Reportedly Not an Option for Durant

Saturday, June 11

Although Durant was "hanging out" with Houston Rockets star James Harden this week, Houston is not expected to be a team Durant would consider playing for, according to Stein on Thursday.

However, Stein reported Saturday that the Rockets hope to get a face-to-face meeting with Durant in July "despite knowing they're not presently in contention."


Thunder Likely to Retain Durant

Tuesday, May 31

Stein reported, "Most insiders see the most likely scenario at present to be [Durant] staying in [Oklahoma City] on a two-year max deal with an opt-out after Year 1."


Durant's Agent Reportedly Meets with Celtics

Tuesday, May 31

Butch Stearns of WEEI reported the Celtics met with Durant's agent and discussed which players Durant wants to play with (via NBC Sports' Dan Feldman):

The Celtics have sat with his agent and other representatives of Durant. The Celtics do know — I don't know who it is — but they do know who he would prefer to be brought here in a LeBron-Chris BoshDwyane Wade-like way. Because that's how it works in the NBA. You need to know who the guy or guys that that guy wants, which would be a factor.

Now, I don't know if Durant's told them that. But the Celtics know. They know. They've been told what group of guys he would want to come here.


Durant Comments on Free Agency After Game 7 Loss vs. Warriors

Monday, May 30

Durant was asked about his plans regarding his impending free agency this summer after Monday's 96-88 loss to the Warriors, per Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel:

"I mean, we just lost like 30 minutes ago, so I haven't even thought about it. I'm just embracing my teammates and just reflecting on the season. I'll think about that stuff, I don't know when. But we just lost an hour ago, 30 minutes ago, so I don't know."


Heat Plan to Pursue Durant

Friday, May 20

ESPN's Dan Le Batard reported the Heat plan to "get in the room" with Durant this offseason, per Feldman:

The plan is and always has been: Go after Durant and free everything up – so much so that you insulted your superstar this offseason by telling Dwyane Wade no on multiple years, even though that’s what he wanted. Dwyane, who deserves more of your allegiances as business and a company and management than Chris Bosh does. Because the whole thing is get in a room with Durant after this season.

What I’m telling you, no matter how much you laugh at it, is that the Heat is getting in the room with Durant. Now, what happens from there, who knows? But you can sit here and laugh at it all you want, but the plan, the construct is – the priority, the No. 1 thing this offseason – is get in the room with Durant.

You do what you want with the information. All I’m telling you is priority No. 1 is not get Dwyane locked up, Whiteside locked up. No. 1 on the list is can you get the superstar that is the big get in free agency while also taking care of your people around that?


Spurs Considering Durant

Friday, May 6

Stein reported "the stately [San Antonio Spurs], league sources say, are just as intrigued as Golden State by the thought of making a run at Durant come July 1."


Durant Not Considering Washington?

Thursday, April 21

The Washington Wizards were thought to be a favorite to lure Durant away from the Thunder, but Chris Mannix of The Vertical reported that the Washington, D.C., native may not want to play in his hometown next year:

Durant isn't bound for Washington, friends say, because … it's Washington, it's home, and, like so many athletes, Durant isn't all that keen on returning to play in the city in which he grew up. Friends, family – some real, some claiming to be – all come out of the woodwork in those situations, and Durant, who has tightened his inner circle considerably in recent years, isn't interested in dealing with them. His lone trip to D.C. this season was stressful, league sources told The Vertical, reinforcing to friends that wherever Durant signs next summer, Washington won't be it.

If Durant doesn't sign with the Wizards, basketball fans will wonder what could have been with John Wall and Bradley Beal teaming up with him next year to potentially vault the Wizards into championship contention.

But with hardly any hints coming from Durant's side, it'll likely remain a mystery leading up to July 1.

Related

    How Will Donovan Handle Melo in Game 6?

    Oklahoma City Thunder logo
    Oklahoma City Thunder

    How Will Donovan Handle Melo in Game 6?

    Erik Horne
    via NewsOK.com

    Paul George Says 'nothing to Rest For'

    Oklahoma City Thunder logo
    Oklahoma City Thunder

    Paul George Says 'nothing to Rest For'

    Berry Tramel
    via NewsOK.com

    Kanter Hints at Knicks Opt-out in Nostalgic Thunder Cameo

    Oklahoma City Thunder logo
    Oklahoma City Thunder

    Kanter Hints at Knicks Opt-out in Nostalgic Thunder Cameo

    New York Post
    via New York Post

    Low-Cap Teams That Could Make a FA Splash

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Low-Cap Teams That Could Make a FA Splash

    Dan Favale
    via Bleacher Report