Kevin Durant Reportedly Picks Warriors … If He Leaves OKC
Can you imagine a young NBA dynasty that could be in the NBA Finals for the next consecutive five or six years? That would be the Golden State Warriors, who would acquire the NBA version of the three dragons from Game of Thrones if they sign Kevin Durant this summer.
Durant, a free agent, reportedly said recently that he would prefer to go to the Warriors if he decides to leave Oklahoma City. It's uncertain if he'll ditch the Thunder -- the smart money says he won't -- but then the lure of the one true ring of power is very strong. Frank Isola of the NY Daily News:
“The same source maintains that if Durant doesn’t re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder he would prefer to join the Warriors, a team that has reached two straight NBA Finals and could rule the Western Conference for the next five years if Durant goes to the Bay Area.”
Warriors' majority owner Joe Lacob is totally on board with this:
— Comcast SportsNet (@CSNAuthentic) June 21, 2016
Durant would most assuredly make more money staying in OKC, which has the most cash to offer. But the Warriors could make a competitive play, and have the better chance of winning a second title in three years.
And that's what Durant really wants. If Golden State had won its second straight title on Sunday, its stock would have gone down in Durant's eyes. He wants to be in a situation where he can help a team improve.
Other free agents the Warriors are or may be considering:
* Dirk Nowiztki. The Mavericks forward/center opted for free agency today, and would be just the player the Warriors need coming off the bench. Golden State was stung by lack of size when Andrew Bogut went down in the Finals, exposing a need for someone with Nowitzki's size and talent.
* Dwight Howard. Not in my opinion -- I think that Howard is a head case who has serious lapses in concentration and can't shoot free throws. But he too opted for free agency today and I've already read three accounts of how he would be a great fit at Golden State. Just, no.
* Hassan Whiteside. The Miami Heat center plays great defense -- something the Warriors need in a big man -- leading the NBA in blocks per game with 3.7. But he also had 14.2 ppg on 61 percent shooting. The Heat will aggressively try to retain him, which is a good reason that the Warriors should try and make a play. Whiteside would be a dynasty puzzle piece.
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