Stefan Bondy added a new story line to Friday's big match-up in Brooklyn: the Nets desire to pursue Kevin Durant.
The impending Durant free agency bonanza should start picking up steam next season and will undoubtedly engulf the NBA in the summer of 2016. And make no mistake: the Nets are targeting Durant, the 25-year-old offensive juggernaut, even if it’s too early to predict their odds.
Bondy notes that Durant may want out in part because the Thunder ownership is luxury tax averse and Oklahoma City plays in the NBA's smallest market. That fear of the luxury tax led to the Thunder dumping James Harden, a decision that did not sit well with Durant. Oh yeah, his agent is Jay-Z.
Although Durant's contract ends in 2016, there are those in the Nets organization who can see KD letting people in OKC know he wants out at the end of the 2015 season when the Nets want to be below the luxury tax "apron." Teams with a payroll above the tax "apron" --the luxury tax threshold plus $4 million-- can no longer receive a player in a sign-and-trade. Once below that number, approximately $75 million, teams have a lot more flexibility. Of course, they don't have the one thing most teams want in exchange for a superstar: a lot of draft picks.
Deron Williams talked to Bondy about the lure of a big market for Durant.
For someone like (Durant), I think it makes a bigger difference because of the endorsements he’d command in a market like this. I mean, look at what he’s already doing in Oklahoma City. But at the same time, maybe he’s such a big name that it doesn’t matter where he’s at. If LeBron would’ve stayed in Cleveland, he still gets $150 (million) from Nike."
Beyond the finances, D-Will suggested that the Nets big market, big bucks aspect could be ideal for attracting free agents, that small markets like Salt Lake where he played and OKC are not so attractive to the stars teams need to win.
- Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City Thunder visit Brooklyn Friday, and Nets will be chasing his services in 2017 - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
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