Online book Sportsbook.ag has futures lines listed for every single team in The Association on whether Kevin Durant will be wearing their uniform for the opening game of the 2016-17 season.
Let’s break down some potential landing spots.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-800)
Whenever a star player enters the free agency period without a contract (barring a major fallout with the organization) his previous team will always be considered the favorite to win the “final rose” and re-sign their superstar.
Durant, during a recent interview with ESPN, said his landing spot will be a “basketball decision” and elaborated by saying, “Just who I’m going to be playing with and the people I’m going to be around every single day, that’s what it’s all about for me.”
The Thunder showed a lot to the world during the postseason. Beating the Spurs in the conference semifinals and taking the Golden State Warriors to a seventh game in the conference finals (even though they blew a 3-1 series lead in the process) was a huge eye opener for Durant.
He knows that the team he helped build, and spent his entire career with, is as close as they’ve ever been to winning a championship (and that includes making it all the way to the finals in 2012).
Washington Wizards (+1,500)
The Wizards are not the second favorite in this gambling equation, but you truly have to believe that if Durant does leave the only professional team he’s ever played for, Washington makes the most sense.
Wizards’ GM Ernie Grunfeld will attempt to sell KD on the allure of playing at “home”. Durant will be given the grand pitch and the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA Championship only makes their case more alluring. Just imagine the thrill of bringing basketball glory back to your hometown.
The Wizards may have a few skeletons in their closet, and perhaps a zit or two on their forehead, but they may get KD based on comfort – sometimes it just feels right.
Being bombarded with so many potential suitors must be an intimidating situation. While it may seem enviable to outsiders, the process will be long and sometimes sloppy.
The stereotypes are all there. You have the sexy guy with the $500,000 sports car – Golden State Warriors (+800), the rich guy who always gets what he wants but never seems to spend his money wisely – Houston Rockets (+3,000), the guy who used to be really good looking but now looks a bit like Screech from ‘Saved By The Bell’ – Los Angeles Lakers (+2,000), the working-class hero who everyone seems to be rooting for – Boston Celtics (+1,200), the egotistical loser that everybody just wants to see get eliminated from contention – New York Knicks (+3,000), and the nice guy ex-boyfriend who you really want to be with but it just doesn’t make sense – Toronto Raptors (+10,000).
Whichever team gets the final rose from Durant on finale night will have to do a lot more than a simple proposal to the future Hall of Famer. You can be sure that an armored truck full of cash will be involved as well.
Here is the full list of odds from Sportsbook.ag: