Kevin Durant is the most skilled scorer in basketball today. He is a seven-footer with a fantastic jump shot and can play on the wing. He is a part of what many would argue is the most successful organization in sports — for the time being — in the Golden State Warriors. He has an upcoming decision to make though that could change the dynamics of the NBA.
There have been murmurings that Durant, who can opt out and become a free agent this summer, will leave Golden State for possibly the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets or the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors are the premier franchise on the court right now as the have a plethora of All-Star talent on their roster and are currently back to back NBA champions even though that may change soon. Durant has won NBA Finals MVP during both of those championships.
Regardless of the decision that Durant makes, the NBA landscape will change this summer. He is the most coveted player regardless of his injury status that he has been dealing with this postseason. Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis are likely to move as Irving is expected to leave Boston in free agency and New Orleans is expected to trade Davis. Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard will be free agents as well.
Durant’s decision should be a one that he does not take lightly, but there is an easy answer to his dilemma. He is set to make over 30 million dollars with the Warriors next year, and he would be wise to exercise his option to stay with them.
There isn’t a better situation right now in the NBA than with Golden State. They are a well-respected and well-run organization with a fantastic head coach in Steve Kerr. They have the talent to compete for championships and feature very little dysfunction. The Warriors are opening up a brand new arena next year in San Francisco as well. The best thing for Durant’s brand is to be playing basketball into June on a yearly basis and holding up the NBA championship trophy. He has no other options where there is as good of a chance for this to happen than with the Warriors.
The Knicks are very poorly run under owner James Dolan. They wouldn’t have the talent around Durant either unless they made roster moves this offseason. The Nets are second fiddle to the Knicks in New York. The Clippers are a tenant in the Los Angeles Lakers arena, and are clearly the No. 2 team —and always will be — in L.A.
In other words, there is no situation that would be better in the league for a player of Durant’s caliber. He may be sensitive on social media now, but what he will be remembered by is titles. Everyone knows Michael Jordan went 6-0 in the finals with six rings, and if Durant stays in Golden State, then he would have a chance to match Jordan.
› Jake Wright a 2015 graduate of Scottsboro High School and graduated from Auburn University in 2019 with a degree in Communication. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him at @jakewirght1996 on Twitter.