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Kevin Durant’s longtime friend: ‘Decision is 90 percent made’ to re-sign with Thunder

While Kevin Durant is the top free agent available for a move, guys like Nicholas Batum and Harrison Barnes could be significant additions to teams in free agency.

There’s a widespread belief Kevin Durant will re-sign with the Thunder on a 1+1 contract.

Here’s more evidence he’ll return to Oklahoma City.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

barring an incredible sales job, several friends and business colleagues close to the 2014 NBA MVP expect him to return to Oklahoma City for at least another year.

“His decision is 90 percent made. It would take an amazing sales pitch to change it,” said one of Durant’s longtime friends.

Durant leaving would be as stunning as James’ departure to Miami and subsequent return to Cleveland.

Durant leaving would be as stunning as two things that happened? That’s an oddly perfect simile .

It’s easy to project your values onto Durant. His highest-upside financial route is a one-year contract with the Thunder then re-signing in 2017. People like the idea of him staying with Russell Westbrook at least one more year and trying to build on their success together. And it’s easy to get on board with the hedge of a one-year deal protecting Durant if Westbrook leaves in 2017.

But Durant might view things differently.

He’s the one who’d take the risk of getting hurt and making less money. He’s the one who’d have to deal with the pressure of a contract year and free agency again. He’s the one who’d have to soothe the occasional tension that comes with playing with Westbrook.

Maybe Durant’s friends and business associates have a good read on what Durant wants. Or maybe they’re projecting their own ideals.

I’m not as convinced his return to Oklahoma City is such a certainty. Meetings can always change his mind, and we don’t even know the starting point of his thinking.

The Thunder should still be favored to sign Durant, but 90% seems too high to me.