For the past couple of offseasons, Washington Wizards fans have been clamoring for All-Star small forward Kevin Durant to return to the nation’s capital. Durant has been solidified as a superstar in the NBA and his hometown would love to have him return to his roots.
Durant, a Rockville, MD native, has averaged 27.3 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, and 3.5 assists through his eight-year career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. This would be a huge boost to the Wizards scoring, as no one on the Wizard’s current roster cracks a 20-point per game average.
Mar 13, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) looks up at the scoreboard during action against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Durant has also made light about his free agent status in 2016:
"“I’ll deal with that once I get there. My main focus and goal is to be the best player and lead my team and have fun playing the game again. That’s really all I’m focused on. You guys have to do your job and ask those type of questions, but I’m just trying to focus on being 100 percent committed to Oklahoma City and being the best leader that I can be there.”"
As for the Wizards salary cap situation for the 2016-2017 season, they will have ample room. The Wizards will have $32.2 million dollars on the books and the new salary cap is thought to be going up around $89 million, according to some estimates. Durant will command up to near $25 million per season according to Bobby Marks.
This will give the Wizards enough money to re-sign Bradley Beal to a max deal worth around $20.4 million per season. Marcin Gortat, John Wall, Kelly Oubre and Martell Webster are already under contract. If the Wizards re-signed Beal, along with signing Durant and these four guaranteed players on the team for the ’16 season, the Wizards would be at $77.5 million.
Having said that, the Wizards would be in a good spot to sign KD. He will certainly command a max deal and Washington can give him his wish. Rockville is his old home and he is a huge Washington football fan. Also, he has a pretty sizable fan base in nearby Baltimore.
However, Durant doesn’t want everyone to trust different rumors about his pending free agency. He has been highly adamant about dispelling his future with the with the Thunder and rightly so:
"“Uh, just, I think we should … you know what, I’m not even going to answer that. I’m not gonna answer that one. Along with Matty Ice [Thunder PR man Matt Tumbleson], I’ve got two people that I trust with my life, my agent and my manager, who’s my best friend as well. I trust them with my life. So if you hear sources or anything, don’t believe it if it didn’t come from them. I tell them everything. We bounce ideas off each other. We collaborate on a lot of different things. They give me advice. so throughout this year, if you hear sources from anybody, it’s not true, unless you hear it from Charlie Bell, Rich Kleiman or Kevin Durant.”"
So the question for Kevin Durant is, “Why not return home?”
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