The Kevin Durant saga can't even truly begin in earnest until July 1, but that hasn't stopped the rumour mill from churning out some pretty interesting stories regarding the Oklahoma City Thunder forward's future as of late.
Of course, KD enters free agency this summer after spending the first nine years of his career with OKC. There's not a team in sight who wouldn't love to acquire the 2014 MVP, and with the expanding salary cap, the vast majority can afford him, too.
However, to summarise, the small forward stands to make the most money by staying just where he is. The 27-year-old is fresh off a campaign where the Thunder reached the Western Conference Finals and came within touching distance of knocking the reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors, out of the postseason.
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One would think Durant has all he needs, doesn't he? He's already with a contender and playing alongside a bona fide superstar in Russell Westbrook, and, he can't possibly make more money by going anywhere else.
For all the reasons that point towards Durant staying where he is, superstars around the league have made no bones about their desire to see KD suit up alongside them next season.
James Harden told teammate Jason Terry on a radio show last week that he would love to reunite with his former Thunder teammate next term, answering Jet's questions about the biggest name the Rockets should pursue in free agency with: "Durantula."
Pictures have emerged this week of Durant and Harden hanging out together in Houston and grabbing a bite to eat. Of course, speculation has run wild since the photos broke that Harden is already recruiting his fellow All-Star, but according to ESPN's sources, Houston aren't even on the very short list of teams Durant is willing to hear out this summer.
The report read:
"Sources told ESPN.com that Harden's Houston Rockets are not a team Durant plans to consider when he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1, despite Harden's presence there and the Rockets' long-known intent to try to chase him."
That's no surprise, really. Sure, Houston is a storied franchise and Harden is one of the biggest offensive powerhouses in the NBA today. Past him, though, what do the Rockets really have at the moment?
They've got plenty of rumours surrounding the lack of harmony in the locker room, Dwight Howard seemingly departing and a new coach in Mike D'Antoni who's last spell on the pine with the Lakers didn't go too well at all.
It's likely that Durant will re-sign a short-term, max-contract deal that gives him a player option in 2017 when Westbrook's deal is also up. But, he will probably hear what the Warriors, the Spurs and maybe even the Lakers have to say this summer, if not for due diligence.