"I miss Seattle a lot. It was my first city that I lived in on my own. It was a great city to play for. It was unfortunate for the fans what happened, but it's time to move on. I'm sure they've moved on. But in the back of my mind, I still have a thing for Seattle and always am going to remember what they've done for me." - Kevin Durant, September 29th, 2010
It's no secret that the league's reigning MVP, Kevin Durant, is going to be a free agent in 2016. It's also not a secret that several teams will be vying for his services. Like LeBron James' free agency in 2010, expect multiple big spending teams like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers to clear cap space to try and land the star's services.
Even the team Durant grew up watching has already begun to plan for him to come home in 2016.
The Washington Wizards have just two players on the books for that season in John Wall and Marcin Gortat, meaning that they'll have plenty of cash to throw at KD. The Zards don't plan on letting rising star Bradley Beal walk away anytime soon either, making a trio of Wall, Beal and Gortat a very appealing core of a roster to a star player like Durant.
It's also no coincidence that the Wizards just hired David Adkins, who coached Kevin Durant in high school while he attended Montrose Christian high school in Rockville, Maryland.
While Durant weighs his options on where he'll play in 2016, one thing stands for certain: Seattle isn't in the mix to land him, because they don't have a team (for now, anyway).
But perhaps, if by 2016, Seattle were awarded an expansion team, would Durant return to the city that drafted him?
Before diving into hypotheticals, ifs, ands, and buts, let's state the facts:
- Kevin Durant is a great basketball player.
- Kevin Durant was born, raised, went to high school and still hard core reps the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia).
- The city that drafted Kevin Durant in 2007, Seattle, no longer has a team.
- Kevin Durant has said nice things about D.C., Seattle and OKC.
- Kevin Durant will be a free agent in 2016.
The case for Durant in Seattle is this:
By the time 2016 rolls around, Seattle will - hypothetically speaking - just be getting their expansion team. Generally speaking, teams that join the league via expansion don't typically have rosters that are a) great, and b) expensive. But let's say that just before that hypothetical expansion draft, Durant signs in Seattle, for X amount of dollars. At that point, he'd be the only player on the team, so Seattle could easily make him the highest-paid player in the league. On top of that, he could then hand-pick his roster through said expansion draft and free agency.
It also wouldn't make for a bad story seeing the Sonics' last first round pick become their first free agency signing.
Sadly for Sonics fans, this is all still hypothetical. And in 2016, when Durant enters free agency, there is no guarantee that Seattle will have a team with a front office who will have a chance to make a pitch to him.
But should Seattle have that team in 2016 that they have longed for since they watched Durant be hauled away to OKC with the rest of the squad, the circumstances in which he could return to a city he has always shown love for, and to a city that has always shown love to him, could be very appealing to the star forward.
"I've had a fun time here in Seattle," Durant told the crowd at Jamal Crawford's Seattle Pro-Am in the Summer of 2013. "I miss you guys. Thank you for the warm welcome, man. I can't wait to come back. Thank you. I appreciate it."