The OKC Thunder had the first of several scheduled meetings with Kevin Durant, the crown jewel of this summer’s NBA free agent class.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) June 30, 2016
The two sides chatted for five hours (!) Thursday, and by all accounts, the Thunder are the heavy favorites to have the 2014 League MVP sign on the dotted line.
It would take a major shift in thinking for KD to go elsewhere next season.
Don’t stress too hard, Thunder fans. Yes, Durant, 27, is the star of this year’s NBA free agency reality show. But 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.
Another Durant colleague said, “It’s going to take some sweet-talking to get him to pass up all the money he can get by staying in OKC.”
The formulations are complicated, but roughly, he could get $28.4 million annually in an immediate multiyear deal elsewhere versus a projected $30.6 million annually with the Thunder. If he opts for a shorter deal now and a longer one later, he could make from $32.6 million a season elsewhere to as much as $40.7 million a year in Oklahoma City.