We’re still a few weeks away from the start of free agency, but apparently some things are already beginning to crystallize for Kevin Durant’s all-important free agent decision. The Houston Rockets try to be in play for every major free agent, and they have KD’s former teammate in James Harden leading the squad. Add that to the fact that Kevin Durant did spend his one college year in Texas, and the Rockets fancied themselves a fringe contender in the KD sweepstakes. Not so much anymore, though:
The Western Conference Finals did as much for the Thunder’s chances to retain Durant as you could expect from a series loss. Sure, they gave away a 3-1 lead, but they were one or two breaks away from the Finals against a Cavs team that they’d probably be well-equipped to beat. Sure, Steph Curry has remained under wraps, but he’s still dealing with knee and ankle issues that will cause him to miss the Olympics. Imagine Kyrie Irving trying to guard Russell Westbrook, though.
Either way, the Thunder’s playoff performance might have convinced Durant his best chance at a title is with Westbrook and Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams, but that won’t stop teams like Boston (and their crab legs), the Spurs, and perhaps the Warriors from trying to pry one of the three or four best players in the NBA away from the only franchise he’s ever known. Compared to those healthy franchises and entrenched coaches, the Rockets don’t seem all that appealing.