Weighing Durant’s options

One of the biggest names in the free agency market this season is Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant. While the 6-foot-9 superstar attempted to dismiss all rumors surrounding his future, Durant has found little success avoiding the attention as his current contract nears expiration. Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the media entertaining the possibility of him leaving the Thunder for the Golden State Warriors. In an era dominated by players like Lebron James and Stephen Curry, Durant has made a name for himself and is always in the discussion as one of the top five basketball players playing today. Any basketball fanatic would say that every team who has some room in their salary cap should try to make an effort to attain the seven-time NBA All-Star. What team would ever deny the scoring services of Durant, who currently averages around 28.1 points per game this season?  If Durant chooses to head west and sign with Golden State, would he make the Warriors team more of an offensive juggernaut than it already is?

The Warriors offense is so deep that it does not need another top scorer such as Durant. The Warriors as a team currently averages around 115 points per game and is ranked as the No. 1 overall offense in the league. Most of the Warriors’ offensive points comes from their two star players in Curry, who averages around 30.7 points per game, and Klay Thompson, who averages around 21.7. Also, the duo gets strong contributions from supporting players such as Draymond Green, who averages around 13.5 points per game, and Harrison Barnes, who averages around 11.8 points per game. Furthermore, the Warriors have solid depth from the bench led by Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Having a high-volume shooter such as Durant will reduce the Golden State roster’s individual points per game and attempts per game because he is going to be shooting the basketball on a majority of the possessions. Durant’s unstoppable offensive skills would be used more effectively on a team in dire need of a big-time scorer—the New York Knicks.

Many basketball fans are caught up in the hype of how Durant would make the Warriors the most dominant NBA team ever imaginable. However, as history suggests, this is not always the case. For example, look at the 2012 supposedly super-group lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers. During the off-season in 2012, the Lakers acquired Dwight Howard via a trade from the Orlando Magic and signed Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns. Basketball fans were raving about how the Lakers were going to be one of the best teams to ever play together. Ironically, the Lakers barely made it to the playoffs, and on top of it all, the team got eliminated in the first round. This goes to show that acquiring talent does not guarantee success.

If Bob Myers, the Warriors’ general manager, were to consider the thought of looking to acquire Durant, it would seem obnoxiously greedy to add more talent. The most logical solution for Myers would be to save the cap space this upcoming free agency and use it to entice Curry to stay with the Warriors before he enters free agency in 2017.