With him changing to Jay Z as his representation, speculation has grown a little that in 2016 when Kevin Durant is an unrestricted free agent, he may bolt Oklahoma City for a bigger market. And during a Nike sponsored Tour de Durant in France, KD did a Q&A session with some fans and was asked right up front if he has any plans of leaving the Thunder.
“I like where I’m at right now. I enjoy playing for OKC,” he said. “As of today, I love it there, man. I want to be there. I love the fans, I love my team, I love everything about the city. I don’t have any plans to move.”
As of today.
That’s the part people are going to notice. Heck, that’s the headline I used. Forget the re-re-re-affimation of him saying he has no plans to move or that he loves OKC. This isn’t the first time KD’s been asked about this, and it surely won’t be the last. It’s just with the whole Jay Z thing happening, it seems like something people needed to hear. (Remember, Durant already talked down Jay Z’s influence over him once.)
But some are going to read into that a little. Especially with the speculation from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that Durant wasn’t happy with the Thunder’s summer.
Here’s the reality, though: 2016 is a ways away. A lot can change. A lot can happen. And if the Thunder have taken steps back or aren’t putting a product on the floor that can compete for championships, Durant may want to leave.
As of today, the team is good, the future is bright and everything is fine. Durant is smart enough to know that soundbites can come back to haunt you and if he emphatically declared he’d never leave the Thunder — like he has before — that that kind of thing might get replayed in his face if he felt it necessary to leave in a few years. He’s just covering his bases.
Because let’s not be naive here. KD might not stay in OKC forever. It’s his career, his life, his future. The idea of being a free agent is that you’re FREE. So let’s just wait and see and enjoy the next three seasons and not worry about it, deal? Deal.
A few more questions:
Asked about which rookie has impressed him the most this summer: “I didn’t get to see a lot of them, but the guy that impressed me the most probably was the rookie we drafted Steven Adams from New Zealand. I haven’t seen him play a lot but when I’ve seen him up close and in person he’s real physical and athletic. He’s only 19 years old but he’s built like a grown man. In years to come he’s going to be a force and I’m looking forward to helping him out and playing with him.”
On Jeremy Lamb: “With Kevin Martin leaving these guys have to step up. Jeremy Lamb is a guy that’s been working his tail off ever since we got him. I’m looking forward to seeing how he comes out and plays this year. I know he’s going to do well because if you put in the work whatever you put in is what you’re going to get out. He’s going to have me around to help him out. We’re going to bounce ideas off each other and he’s going to help me and I’m going to help him and we’re both going to grow together.”