Report: After initial concern, Thunder getting along well with Kevin Durant’s Jay-Z-led agency

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Remember when Kevin Durant nearly signed with Under Armour, whose Baltimore headquarters are just north of Durant’s native Washington, D.C.?

The Thunder did – and they were concerned.

But Oklahoma City also noticed Durant re-signing with Nike.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

There was some concern in the Thunder organization when, in 2013, Durant hired Jay-Z’s start-up Roc Nation to represent him. Sometimes moving talent creates a big display of power for an agency, and Roc Nation’s first big deal was the massive contract that sent longtime New York Yankee Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners that same year. Then they nearly moved Durant away from Nike. Both Cano and Durant, though, ended up with excellent deals.

There were memories of Creative Artists Agency and how they helped establish its power base by helping move James and Chris Bosh to Miami in 2010 and then using leverage to move Anthony to New York months later.

But the Thunder’s dealings with Roc Nation have been positive and constructive across the board the past two years, multiple sources said, and those initial concerns have been eased.

This is far from decisive about Durant’s upcoming free agency, but it’s also nothing but good news for Oklahoma City that its dealings with Durant’s agency have gone well.

More importantly, the Thunder are 20-9. Their best selling point will be the strength of their team. Who else can offer a Russell Westbrook as a sidekick and a Serge Ibaka as a No. 3?

It doesn’t hurt that the Wizards are struggling, either.

Durant won’t make this choice alone. The Thunder should feel good about getting along well with his agent, but they can’t let off the gas now.

The imperative must be finishing the season strongly, ensuring Durant walks away from his playoff experience with a good taste in his mouth.