The Kevin Durant sweepstakes has officially begun, and indicative of the San Antonio Spurs’ strong chances to acquire the superstar is the fact that they will be one of the first teams to have a face-to-face meeting with him.
Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that the Spurs, Golden State Warriors, and Oklahoma City Thunder are the first known teams to secure a meeting with Durant regarding his free agency. Those meetings will start next weekend, although the location of each one is undisclosed.
The Spurs will reportedly include key organizational people in the meeting, and although the complete list isn’t know, head coach Gregg Popovich and legendary Spurs player Tim Duncan will be present.
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Duncan may be on the verge of retiring, but no player can speak to the strength of the Spurs’ organization quite like a guy who won 5 championships with them during a 19 year career.
If Durant truly puts on-court success as the top priority in his decision, then it’s hard to argue that the prolonged achievement of the Spurs doesn’t make them the most obvious choice in that regard.
While they don’t have the money to offer Durant that the Thunder can, Durant has implied in the past that he’s aware of his earnings potential off the court, and that he’s going to be extremely wealthy through the game of basketball no matter where he plays.
The Warriors right now don’t have as much cap space as the Spurs do, but they can add flexibility by trading away a guy like Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala, or Shaun Livingston to clear more cap space.
The Spurs also have that capability, and the main candidates to be traded away in that scenario are probably Danny Green or Patty Mills.
Durant is a generational player, and the Spurs would be wise to try to land him through any means necessary.