Dirk Nowitzki expects Kevin Durant to stay with Thunder

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After a playoff run that showed them to be the second best team in the NBA (sorry Cleveland), the conventional wisdom around the NBA has become that Kevin Durant isn’t going anywhere. He could sign a one-plus-one deal that lets him opt out again next summer and sign a larger deal (a move that could net him an extra $80 million or more in that contract), or he could go the security of the long-term deal now. But the sense is that deal will be with Oklahoma City, where is comfortable and playing on a team at the cusp of a title.

Dirk Nowitzki feels the same way.

If Durant opens his free agent recruitment up to other teams, Dallas will be one of 29 in line looking for meetings, but Nowitzki told Tim MacMahon of ESPN not to bet on it.

“He wants to play to win. He’s got a great group of guys there in OKC. They’ve got everything going. They’ve got youth, they’ve got talent, they’ve got athleticism. He’s got a superstar player next to him. They’re loaded where he’s at.”

Yes, KD could go to the East where if he joined a number of teams — Atlanta, Boston, Washington, Miami, Orlando, etc. — they would instantly be the second best team in the East and in reach of the Finals. But doesn’t he have that already, and frankly with a better team in a place he is comfortable?

It’s impossible to predict what Durant will do, but all signs point to him staying put. For at least a year.