The Golden State Warriors came up five points short of repeating as NBA champions this season. To even get to the NBA Finals, though, Golden State had to come back from a 3-1 deficit to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
"We’ll move on and try to get better – and we will do whatever it takes, within reason, to get better,” Warriors CEO Joe Lacob said to reporters on Tuesday, just days after the NBA Finals loss.
Lacob mentioned no names of potential targets; that would be tampering. But the Warriors, have long made it clear they covet Durant.
And it appears they will be one of the first teams to get the chance to sit down with Durant. The Warriors, along with the Spurs and Thunder, will reportedly be the first teams to recruit Durant once free agency begins midnight of July 1, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Durant's representatives at Roc Nation are also trying to lock up invitations to speak with Durant from the Celtics, Clippers and Heat, according to The Vertical.
Bringing Durant to Oakland would require serious financial moves, all of which the Warriors are willing to make. The luxury tax would not frighten Lacob, for he’s already paying it.
Durant was in Austin, Tex. Monday for the release of his latest shoe. He told reporters his decision, whether he stays with the only NBA team he’s ever known or departs, would be based not on market-size or profile.
“I’m worried about basketball,” he said. “That’s what it is for me. It’s a basketball decision.”
Once free agency begins, the Warriors reportedly plan to get Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, among other key figures, on a plane to an undisclosed location to meet with Durant, according to Stein.
Durant, 27, has spent his whole nine-year career with one franchise. Durant spent his rookie year in Seattle after being drafted No. 2 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the SuperSonics. After the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, his last eight seasons have been with the Thunder.
He has made seven straight NBA All-Star teams and was named the 2013-14 NBA MVP. As one of the top scoring threats in all of basketball, Durant has led the NBA in scoring four times.
For his career, Durant is averaging 27.4 points, which leads the NBA among all active players, and 7.0 rebounds per game.
In the Western Conference Finals, Durant averaged 30.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as the Thunder fell to the Warriors.