The free agency market is a rich place for NBA teams to get a shot at the basketball stars they deem as best fit to give them the widely coveted championship trophy. One of the most talked about player whom teams are gunning for come the offseason is Kevin Durant. The Oklahoma City Thunder star has been the center of NBA trade rumors and free agency speculations since the start of the season. Despite the influx of news stories regarding his future, Durant has remained mum on the issue.
However, it looks like the stories might come to a stop this time. That is, Durant has reportedly taken a step that could be regarded as a sign of his plans. According to Morning News USA, the NBA All-Star veteran has decided to sign a one-year contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
This information puts a halt to the rumors that the Stephen Curry squad is on the verge of signing Durant. Earlier reports disclosed that the Golden State Warriors are moving key pieces in their roster to welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder star soon. Apart from the Klay Thompson team, the Los Angeles Lakers are said to be gunning for Durant. With the departure of Kobe Bryant, a veteran presence is necessary for the team. In fact, the D'Angelo Russell squad is rumored to offer a spot for Russell Westbrook to lure Durant in their team.
Citing league sources, Morning News USA further shared that "Durant is almost certain to return to the Oklahoma City Thunder on a contract one-year extension." With this move, the NBA star is speculated to re-enter the 2017 free agency market. Durant, given the right deal, stands to earn possibly $108 million once the salary cap jump is implemented.
"It's great to feel wanted, I guess," commented Durant via the Washington Post. He added, "I put myself in a position where I play basketball at a high level. I've heard so many rumors or whatever and it's good for people to say this team wants me or that team wants me. That's what you want as a player is for everybody to respect you and really admire how you play basketball."
Speaking of his connection with Oklahoma, Durant turned sentimental. He shared, That's what made me who I am. I walked those streets. I took that subway down to MCI Center, back when it was MCI Center, to watch the Wizards play and the [WNBA's] Mystics [play]. I'm always going to be a part of that community no matter what. That's where I grew up at. That's where I honed my skills. That's where I became a man."
For their part, the Oklahoma City Thunder appear to be keen in keeping Durant for themselves. ESPN noted, "Suffice to say, know that Durant is not going anywhere: There's no shopping, no calling, no gauging, no considering -- no anything going on. The Thunder aren't trading Kevin Durant."