Chris Mannix believes Kevin Durant will look at re-joining Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder next summer
The Golden State Warriors have not lost a seven-game series since Kevin Durant decided to leave his Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 and join the team that won an NBA record 73 games and were one game away from an NBA Championship. Durant has won back-to-back NBA Finals MVP’s, leading the Dubs to their third title in four seasons. The Warriors, however, are getting mighty expensive to keep together and if Durant does win another title this summer, he could be headed back to the mid-west.
That’s what Yahoo Sports’ NBA insider Chris Mannix seems to think anyways. The belief from Mannix, who joined ‘The Herd’ with Colin Cowherd on Friday, is that Durant could be very much open to returning to the Thunder in order to help them to win an NBA championship.
“I don’t think he finishes in Golden State. Look, after next season, he’s going to have $80 million in his pocket from the last three years and probably three championships,” Mannix said. “So at 30 years old, Kevin Durant is basically going to have a blank canvas. He can do whatever he wants knowing that his legacy is secure. There will be a lot of teams out there trying to recruit him. I think Kevin Durant wants to hear those recruitments. I think Kevin Durant will be open-minded next summer when it comes to where he wants to go.
“But I keep going back to Oklahoma City. I keep going back to the fact that everything we know about Kevin Durant, the sensitivities, how much he hates the fact that people say he jumped on Steph Curry’s bandwagon, and the fact that there’s been no bridge burnt with Oklahoma City. The relationship with Russell Westbrook seems to be the best it’s been since he left Oklahoma City. I know that there’s some financial gymnastics you have to do to get a Kevin Durant on the roster, but I really believe come the end of the year, he’s going to take a long look at Oklahoma City.”
Over the last couple of days, we’ve seen the negative reaction from fans (again) about Durant’s decision to join the already established Warriors in 2016, leaving Russell Westbrook all by himself. A large percentage of fans in the NBA are not happy with Durant’s decision, and it appears as though that hatred may have struck a nerve with Durant these last couple of years.
Additionally, the time off since his decision appears to have improved Westbrook and Durant’s relationship, and if they are on good terms, could make a reunion more likely when the time comes for Durant to decide.
There’s still a lot of basketball left to be played out before 2019 free agency is set to begin, and anything can happen between now and the next 337 days.