No one knows what Kevin Durant will do once he hits free agency, but after seeing Oklahoma City acquire Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis on draft night, the former MVP has to be somewhat compelled to stay, right?
“At this point, it’s all speculation,” CBS Sports NBA insider Ken Berger said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Durant and his camp have not tipped their hand one bit. I think he’s going to be very smart and deliberate about the process. It’s been reported that he’s going to visit with free-agent suitors in L.A. I think he’s going to enjoy that process. He’s going to listen to what everyone has to say. He’s earned it. He’s earned the right to be a free agent and see what the market bears. But at the end of the day – and this is me personally – I don’t think he’s going to find a situation that holds up against what Oklahoma City has built there. If he really wants the best chance to win over the next five, six years, I think Oklahoma City is where he’s going to find that.”
While many analysts point toward 2017 as being one of the great free-agent classes in NBA history, the 2016 class is nothing to slouch at, either. Then again, some team, in all likelihood, is going to pay Dwight Howard a king’s ransom to underachieve and underwhelm. Most teams have gotten the memo on Howard, who has disappointed all three franchises for which he’s played, but it only takes one team to feel optimistic and take a chance.
“I think there’s a lot of trepidation (about Howard), whether it’s injuries, whether it’s attitude, whether it’s not being able to fit in in a multitude of situations that he’s been put into – and some of them he’s put himself into,” Berger said. “But nonetheless, this is another one of those examples. There’s 20 teams or so that are going to have max room or will easily be able to acquire max room. It may even be more by the time we get to July 1. Somebody’s got to get that money. It’s going to be a similar situation to the Knicks with Derrick Rose, where the money – in the environment we’re in with the cap rising as much as it is – is not going to be a deterrent. It’s just going to be, ‘Listen, we have to get a player in here.’
“He does have some qualities that are still very much valued in the NBA if he can stay healthy,” Berger continued, “and he’s still a big name. So at the end of the day, it only takes one team, and it’s going to be one of tis teams that maybe strikes out on one of the bigger free agents and says, ‘You know what? We got to spend this money on somebody. Why not take a chance on Dwight Howard?’”