Perkins plays for New Orleans now, a team that happened to be in Boston for a game yesterday. Because parts of the Boston fan base have become Durant obsessed they asked Perkins about him, and Perkins gave a fascinating answer, via Chris Forsberg of ESPN.
“As a friend, I try not to talk to him too much about free agency. I always try to just want to talk to him about things outside of basketball. We talk about personal life and stuff like that. And I know he’s getting this question every day on the hour and stuff like that, so I try not to bother him.
“But he did shoot some teams out there that he made me sign a confidentiality form that I couldn’t tell nobody. He’s got a few teams that he will be looking at.”
People who know Perkins understand that he tends to say some things with a win, like signing a confidentiality form. Multiple people confirmed there is no such paper. Not that they needed one — Durant trusts Perkins and likely said, “please don’t talk to anybody about this,” to which Perkins would have responded, “you didn’t have to ask.” They get each other.
One other interesting quote from Perkins, about if KD would leave Oklahoma City.
“[The Thunder] win it all, he can’t leave, in my opinion,” Perkins said. “But if they don’t, it might be time for a change.”
What should we take away from all this? Stuff we probably already knew, but consider this confirmation.
• How the Thunder do in the playoffs matters a lot. Reach the Finals, he stays. Get bounced in the second round by San Antonio and things are certainly more up in the air. What happens if the Thunder beat the Spurs but lose to the Warriors in six or seven games? This is not as simple as just “Finals or I’m gone” as some make it out to be.
• Of course Durant is thinking about free agency. How could he not? And he is bouncing ideas off friends, just like you and I do when we have to make a major life decision. You can be sure that KD’s inner circle (which is very tight) is doing its research on the franchises and the markets that will be in play.
The feeling around the league is that Golden State is the frontrunner if Durant bolts, but a handful of other teams will get the chance to make their pitch. The Knicks are reportedly out of the running. The Lakers could well get a courtesy interview but if he wants to win now and considers the Knicks too far away the Lakers are not getting anywhere. While rumors about Boston, Houston, Miami and other cities pop up, the fact is if KD wants out of Oklahoma City 29 other teams would do whatever it takes to land him. He is a franchise changing player, and there are only a handful of them in the game.
My money is still on him staying, but just on a one-year contract.
However, Durant doesn’t know for sure what Durant is going to do this summer, and the playoff performance of the Thunder is going to set the tone.