It may take the Golden State Warriors players some time to get over the disappointment of losing the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers after holding a commanding 3-1 lead, but the fans may forget it sooner rather than later.
The Warriors are expected to make a run for the most coveted free agent on the market in Kevin Durant and according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the player is attracted by the prospect of playing in the Bay Area.
The loss to the Cavaliers seems to have given the Dubs a more realistic chance of landing the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar having failed to win a second consecutive championship.
Isola reports that Durant favours a move to Golden State over re-signing with the Thunder as he believes he can be the missing piece that makes them champions again and allows him to win his first ring.
Isola's NY Daily News report states:
"The events of the past week clear the way for Durant to join the team that eliminated OKC in the Western Conference Finals. When the Warriors were on their way to setting an NBA record with 73 regular-season victories and were the favourites to repeat as NBA champs, the theory was that Durant wouldn’t be wise to sign with the Warriors.
"But that narrative changed when the Cleveland Cavaliers made history by overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals to win their first-ever title. The Warriors failed to beat Cleveland when the Cavaliers were at full strength. Now, Durant makes perfect sense."
The seven-time All-Star will reportedly meet with interested teams in Los Angeles from July 1 to hear their pitches.
According to ESPN, Durant will be the top free agency target for the Western Conference champions.
In theory, if KD had decided to join a historic team that had won back-to-back titles, it would've done little to enhance his legacy as he would only have joined one of the best teams in NBA history and become a champion.
But now that the Warriors are looking to freshen things up to be successful again, the addition of the 2014 MVP would make them even more formidable.
After the disappointing Finals showing by Harrison Barnes - who will be a free agent this summer - the Oakland-based franchise can afford to part ways with him to free up some cap space for one of the elite small forwards in the league.
Without KD, the Warriors are still a championship-calibre team make no mistake about that, but he can be viewed as a difference maker if they were crowned champions again with the 27-year-old on their roster.
Speaking earlier this week Durant stated that whatever decision he makes will be purely a basketball one and the opportunity to join the 73-win Warriors makes sense for him now.
However, having seen LeBron James deliver the first-ever title to the city of Cleveland and the adulation he's received, KD may be tempted to do the same for Oklahoma City - their only previous championship was won by the Seattle SuperSonics.
Though it isn't his hometown, it's been his home for the last nine years and he has a close affinity with the franchise and the region.
The likeliest scenario at this stage would still see Durant sign a two-year deal with OKC with the option to opt out after one. With his running mate Russell Westbrook entering free agency next year, this could certainly have a huge impact on his decision.
Stay tuned for the twists and turns this story will produce over the coming weeks.