Until he makes his decision this summer, Kevin Durant's future will be the talk of the NBA world.
The Warriors star can opt out of his contract this summer, and many believe that despite the immense success Durant and the Dubs have had since his arrival in the summer of 2016, the two-time NBA Finals MVP will depart the Bay Area for a new challenge.
The Knicks, Clippers and Lakers all have been mentioned as possible destinations for KD should he leave the NBA's behemoth. And while many pundits, analysts and fans question why Durant would want to leave such a great situation for the uncertainty in New York or chaos in LA, one former NBA star-turned-television analyst has landed on the other side of the debate.
On Monday's episode of ESPN's "Jalen and Jacoby," Jalen Rose explained to co-host Dave Jacoby and Cassidy Hubbarth why he believes Durant should leave the Warriors.
"I believe he's going to leave," Rose said. "And as I watched the team a little bit further over this last month, I started to take it a step further and consider myself saying, 'These are the reasons he should leave.' How about being the kind of guy that puts up the numbers that he puts up and you're never going to be considered for the MVP? How about a guy that left the Oklahoma City Thunder to come to the Golden State Warriors, won Finals MVP back-to-back years, and that does not make him happy? How about when we talking about who the best players in the game is? He don't even get mentioned.
"We've diminished his greatness for him leaving OKC for the Warriors without realizing it," Rose continued. "And now that he's living it, it's almost like, 'Wait a minute, they not treating me like I'm No. 1.' I'm seeing him sparring a little bit with Steve Kerr and the media. I'm seeing him going back and forth with Draymond in the huddle. I'm seeing the team play better when he's not in the lineup but Steph is. The team really struggles when he's in the lineup and Steph isn't. In particular, against the Dallas Mavs."
Rose's read of the situation might not be far off.
Durant has accomplished everything he wanted to when he elected to join the Warriors, He's won back-to-back titles and Finals MVP awards, and the Warriors appear primed to win another title this season.
And yet, despite all Durant's success in the Bay Area, he hasn't been lauded and praised the way a two-time NBA Finals MVP normally is by both media and fans. Although he's clearly one of the NBA's best players, he isn't talked about in the same light as LeBron James, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo or James Harden. He should be, but he isn't because of the team on which he plays.
Perhaps Rose is right. If Durant craves praise on a large scale, then it might be best for him to leave the Warriors and try to win another title elsewhere.
But if the Warriors win their third title in a row this season, it would be hard to see Durant turning down a chance to accomplish something Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron were unable to -- fourpeat.