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2016 NBA Free Agency Rumors: OKC Thunder Confident in Retaining Kevin Durant

( [email protected] ) Jun 20, 2016 10:23 AM EDT
Oddly enough, Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti is excited about Kevin Durant becoming a free agent next month. For him, this will be the chance for the team to discuss the small forward's future with OKC.
Oakland, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts during the second quarter in game seven of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oddly enough, Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti is excited about Kevin Durant becoming a free agent next month. For him, this will be the chance for the team to discuss the small forward's future with OKC.

For other teams in the league, the looming free agency market is something to be worried about because it's usually the time when players assess their statuses and decide if they want to move forward with a different franchise.

Presti and the rest of the team, however, view this matter in a different light. The general manager still believes that the team will still be able to retain Durant even though he will become a free agent. He's even excited about the athlete's free agency.

"I think for us it's an opportunity to be pretty excited about, quite frankly, to really get excited about an lean into because we have the opportunity to sit down with not only a player but a person that has really defined the Thunder, and I would say Oklahoma City for that matter as well, for the better part of a decade," Presti told CBS Sports.

"And at the same time, it's also someone that we know and that knows us and that we communicate with over a long period of time," he added.

Durant has been with OKC since 2008. Over time, he became a franchise player and grew with the team. It seems Durant's long-term relationship with the Thunder is the main aspect that Presti is banking on.

He also believes that Durant is aware how much the organization appreciates him and everything that he's done for the team.

But, with the upcoming free agency market, Presti wants Durant to take this time to assess his role in the team. Although the GM is not saying that he will surely get Durant to re-sign, he is pretty confident that the athlete will still remain with the team.

"One of the things we've tried to do is be as authentic as possible to the relationship and honor the relationship the way we would normally," he said. "And we always give him and all of our players space after the season to decompress because it's such a long grind.

"But we also have relationships that are not just business relationships but personal relationships as well," he added. "The conversations that we have, we want to try to keep those as natural as possible. We also understand that it's obviously a significant, significant summer for him."

Tags : 2016 NBA Updates, 2016 NBA Free Agency, Kevin Durant Free Agent, Kevin Durant OKC, Kevin Durant Trade