The Golden State Warriors eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder from the NBA Playoffs on Monday night, winning 96-88 to advance to their second straight NBA Finals.
With the Thunder heading into the off-season, Kevin Durant has something else to think about: where will he be playing next season? After the game, he was asked about his free agency plans, but since he was coming off a tough loss, he was understandably reluctant to speculate about his future.
“I mean, we just lost like 30 minutes ago, so I haven’t even thought about it,” Durant said. “I’m just embracing my teammates and reflecting on the season.”
Although the Thunder superstar hasn’t yet thought about his plans for next season, he is already being courted around the NBA, particularly by Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.
Embiid, who missed his first two seasons in the league because of a foot injury, tweeted that he wants the four-time scoring champ to come to the City of Brotherly Love.
The Sixers have the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and given their 10-72 record last season, they certainly could use some help. They are a rebuilding team, trying to climb out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference with the help of draft picks.
And they’re going to be a rebuilding for awhile. They have shown no potential to contend for a playoff spot, much less the title that Durant so covets.
So the 2014 NBA MVP probably won’t want to play for a team like the Sixers. Why would he want to do that when he has suitors like the Boston Celtics, a team on the rise in the East?
Though the Celtics lost to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, they have talented players like Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley to support Durant if he chooses to come. The Celtics have the assets they need to compete in the East, and the addition of Durant could push them over the top.
Embiid was obviously being his usual playful self. The Sixers’ center is one of the most interesting NBA players on Twitter—he even tried to recruit LeBron James to Philadelphia two years ago.
But Durant has only gone to the Finals one time in his career, losing to the LeBron James-led Miami Heat in 2013. The former MVP has championship aspirations, and though the Sixers (well, Embiid) are tossing their hat in the Durant free-agency ring, he has other options that have more potential to breed success.