Come July, the Oklahoma City Thunder will face a real risk of losing Kevin Durant. He reportedly won’t be signing with his current team without at least testing what’s out there for him. Durant wants to be courted, like LeBron James was six years ago, this summer. How he’s treated by teams is going to be extremely important.
According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, Durant is looks forward to being treated like the biggest free agent player in the game.
“Durant is looking forward to being recruited, to being courted, to being treated like the biggest free-agent prize since LeBron James six years ago. The chances of Durant sending a simple tweet again announcing his return are virtually nonexistent, but the Thunder remain hopeful that his decision, regardless of how this season ends, is the same.”
In 2010, Durant tweeted that he was staying with the Thunder after an extremely private contract negotiation.
The Thunder own Durant’s Bird Rights. But, it looks like it won’t be about money. Durant’s brand a very lucrative one and big brand players typically make more in large markets like New York City and Los Angeles. It was widely speculated that Carmelo Anthony stayed with the Knicks for marketing and financial reasons. Durant could easily make up the money he would lose by leaving OKC in other ways.
Durant tweeted that he was excited to play for Team USA later in the year.
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) March 18, 2016
This means that Durant will spend a significant amount of offseason time with the top players in the country, training and practicing for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Players like Anthony and LeBron James will have access to Durant and will be able to aid in the courting process.