Kevin Durant is expected to meet with teams in Los Angeles when free agency begins in a week and a half, according to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola, and the Golden State Warriors reportedly remain his most intriguing option if he decides to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder.
From the Daily News:
The one player who can change the balance of power in the NBA is expected to meet with prospective teams in Los Angeles when the free-agent recruiting period beings in July, according to a source. Durant had considered holding meetings in New York but apparently has decided to hear proposals in Los Angeles, where he owns an offseason home.
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.
After the Warriors eliminated the Thunder in seven games in the Western Conference finals, Durant said he had no interest in going on a recruiting tour. This appears to back that up -- teams that he and his representatives deem worthy will visit him, not the other way around.
Durant said on Monday that free agency is "a basketball decision." If that is the case, then he must already have a pretty good idea of the scenarios he will be willing to consider. Golden State is "all the way in" on chasing him, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, and putting him next to the Splash Brothers and Draymond Green seems like a pretty compelling basketball opportunity, don't you think?
Oklahoma City, though, proved that it is a true championship contender in this year's playoffs. If its series against the San Antonio Spurs and the Warriors were arguments that Durant should stay where he is, they were rather convincing. As intriguing as Golden State might be, his best financial option was always to re-sign with the Thunder on a one-year deal with a one-year option, LeBron James-style. The basketball side of that looks pretty good now, too.
Meeting teams in Los Angeles means that Durant is at least open to the possibility of leaving Oklahoma City, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's likely. Despite more than a year's worth of speculation and the Warriors' best intentions, it is easy to imagine all of the hysteria surrounding Durant ending quietly with another contract with the team that drafted him.