Years of hopes and expectations gleaned from Kevin Durant’s first foray into unrestricted free agency have finally passed. With his defection from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors, though, comes a new possibility that could continue to shift the league’s balance of power.
According to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, multiple league executives believe the Thunder will trade Russell Westbrook before the 2016-17 season tips off and that the Boston Celtics are “most likely” to win the bidding for the five-time All-Star.
Westbrook will reportedly opt against signing an extension with Oklahoma City before hitting unrestricted free agency next summer. No consensus has developed among league insiders on the 27-year-old’s plans in the wake of Durant’s departure, but Beck notes there is a “very strong suspicion” from front office higher-ups across the NBA that he’ll leave the Thunder a year from now.