Kevin Durant is too smart and too polished a speaker to tip what direction he is leaning in free agency at his own PR event to kick off the new KD9 line from Nike.
He did confirm that he will play in the Rio Olympics, which had been expected. He will be the leader of that team (assuming LeBron James bows out).
But all he said about his free agency plans are a theme we’ve heard before from him: “I’m worried about basketball. That’s what it is for me. It’s a basketball decision. I’m looking forward to the future.” Via Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman.
The majority opinion around the league is still that he signs a two-year deal with the Thunder, with an opt-out after one season, and he and Russell Westbrook (and Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka) can make one more run at a ring.
If this is a “basketball decision” then where is he going to go that puts him closer to a title than OKC? That team was on the cusp of making the Finals and would have had a deep series against the Cavs. And don’t say “he’s better off in the East” because: 1) You will just turn around and slam him for “taking the easy road”; 2) If he goes to Miami or Washington or Atlanta or whatever Eastern team he gets a team to the conference finals and then he runs into a deeper Cleveland team, and even if he gets by them this team would be nowhere near ready for the top of the West. He’d be on a worse team.
But it’s his call, and we’ll find out in a few weeks.