With Kevin Durant’s free agency looming, no one has a more important summer session than the Oklahoma City Thunder. They’ve begun it by floating a very interesting rumor:
After coming within instants of the NBA Finals, it’s a little curious that the Thunder would want to do anything but keep their roster together. Ibaka has been a major piece for them as long as Durant and Russell Westbrook have been, and getting rid of him would alter the team significantly.
The emergence of Steven Adams as the postseason’s best center certainly makes Ibaka a bit more expendable, though, and he did look out of sorts at times during the Thunder’s run. Serge eventually came alive in the Western Conference Finals, but it’s possible that — like James Harden and Reggie Jackson before him — he’s grown tired of living in the shadows of two of the game’s most famous men. It’s certainly worth remembering that Ibaka is a free agent next summer, too.
Durant has given no clear indication as to whether he’ll stay in OKC or leave, so general manager Sam Presti needs to be lining up creative contingency options. Conventional wisdom suggests KD will be back, but Presti is too shrewd of a man to rely on that as a certainty, and might be exploring the market here just in case.
Stay tuned as we find out more.