Report: Kevin Durant would sign one-year contract even if leaving Thunder, other teams preparing for 2017
Kevin Durant is setting up his meetings: Thunder, Warriors, Spurs, Clippers, Celtics and Heat.
Word is already leaking about the approach the superstar and his courters will take.
I’m extremely skeptical Durant would sign a 1+1 contract anywhere but Oklahoma City. Every other team would need to carve out cap space to sign him to his max salary in 2017 (unless a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is ratified with different rules).
How can another team clear cap room for Durant this summer, build a competitive roster for 2016-17 and still have max cap room in 2017? If it’s not unfeasible, it’s close.
The Thunder are different, because they’d have his Bird Rights in 2017 after a one-year contract. They wouldn’t need cap space to give him his max next summer.
I do believe that teams – especially the Heat (dealing with Hassan Whiteside and Dwyane this summer), Celtics (not yet added another complementary star) and Clippers (minimal roster flexibility) – will push for Durant to become a free agent again in 2017. Durant’s re-signing with Oklahoma City on a one-year contract must be a lot of teams’ second choice over him choosing them.
That’s not true for the Warriors, the consensus No. 2 in the race. They can create cap room this summer, and if Durant doesn’t come, they’ll have to invest in longer-term options. They’re too good to put everything on hold another year (which is why them signing him to a 1+1 and leaving max 2017 cap space for him is practically unworkable).