Charles Barkley on Kevin Durant: “I hope he stays in OKC”

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The Washington Wizards are going all-in on trying to convince Kevin Durant to come home next summer. They can offer a max contract, the chance to play with John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt, plus a solid array of role players. On top of all that, they are in the East — Cleveland will be a challenge, but the West remains a gauntlet of top teams.

It’s a good offer.

And the sense around the league is it likely is not enough. Nobody knows for sure what Durant is going to do next summer as a free agent, there are far too many variables from this coming season that will impact his decision to say with any certainty what will happen. But the Thunder are the frontrunners.

Charles Barkley hopes he stays put in Oklahoma City. Barkley joined CSN’s SportsTalk Live in Washington D.C. and told the city most hyped to land Durant he hopes their efforts fall short.

“I hope he stays in OKC,” Barkley said. “I would love because he’s a terrific player and a terrific kid, I would love to see him stay in OKC his entire career.

“But you know, man, these guys do what they want to do. I wish them all the best, but for some reason they all want to play in big cities like you’re going to be more famous winning in a certain city. If you win a championship in Cleveland, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, you’re going to be just as big. So, I hope he stays in Oklahoma City. I wish him nothing but the best. I just hope he gets healthy.”

I’m not sure was paying full attention to the NBA this summer. The “they all want to play in big cities” theory suffered a pretty ugly beating — Greg Monroe chose Milwaukee over New York, LaMarcus Aldridge chose San Antonio over Los Angeles, Kevin Love chose Cleveland over Los Angeles or New York, and the list goes on. The world of social media has shrunk the marketing globe and shrunk the advantage big markets used to have in that regard.

That said, nobody knows if Barkley is going to get what he wants. Frankly, I doubt Kevin Durant himself knows what he will decide next summer. You can be sure he’s thought about it, but an NBA season is a lifetime for these kinds of decisions, and a lot of factors will come into play.

I believe we can all agree with Barkley on one thing: I just hope KD gets healthy and plays a full season again, too. The NBA is better with him on the court.