BetDSI Sportsbook has released their first odds on where Kevin Durant will sign next offseason and the Sixers are among the favorites.
It is curious that the Sixers are included on this list since they would have to make several roster moves to actually sign KD. The Sixers look to enter this summer with $49 million in cap space. Both the Sixers and Jimmy Butler have indicated they would like to strike a deal in free agency. Butler’s max would use up roughly $30 million of the Sixers’ space. However, there are some other options if KD is interested in signing with the Sixers.
Kevin Durant and/or Jimmy Butler Takes a Discount
The Sixers would most likely be able to trade Markelle Fultz and Zhaire Smith which would free up an additional $12.8 million. This would leave the Sixers with $32 million, right in line with Durant’s current salary. Durant could ask for the full max of $35 million which would require the Sixers to get a little more creative. Regardless, the Sixers would have very little flexibility to sign role players around the new Big 4. One or both of Durant and Butler could agree to take a slight discount to help the front office retain some salary cap space. Otherwise, the Sixers would be required to fill out most of the bench with minimum contracts.
Sixers Do Not Re-Sign Jimmy Butler
The Jimmy Butler experience has been fantastic so far. The Sixers have desperately needed a playmaking scorer on the wing and Jimmy Butler has been as good as advertised. However, if you can get Durant, you go for it. KD’s game should age better than Butler’s game and Durant fills a similar need for the team. The Sixers could use their max slot to sign Durant leaving them $14-$26 million in cap space to sign several roles players to add depth to the rotation.
Why Would Durant Sign With Your Team?
Los Angeles Lakers – He gets to play with his good friend, LeBron, in Los Angeles for the most marketable franchise in basketball. Seems pretty compelling.
Golden State Warriors – They might win three straight titles. It’s really tough to walk away from that even if there is reported tension in the locker room.
Philadelphia 76ers – Durant wants a new challenge and finds the Sixers Big 3 intriguing. The move allows him to play in the Eastern Conference and effectively punch his ticket to the Finals every season.
New York Knicks – Someone will take the Knicks money and become the savior of the franchise. Durant wants to prove he’s one of the best basketball players ever and brings the Knicks back to prominence.
Brooklyn Nets – If Durant wants to play in New York, he may decide Brooklyn gives him a better chance to win. The Nets can sign two max free agents. Maybe KD can convince Kawhi Leonard to join him in Brooklyn.
Dallas Mavericks – He went to college in Texas so the Mavs could convince him to come home, of sorts. Like Brooklyn, Dallas could free up enough space to bring in a second max free agent.
San Antonio Spurs – The Spurs may also be able to take advantage of his Longhorn roots. Kevin Durant has publicly stated that he loved playing for Gregg Popovich with Team USA. A Spurs team of DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Durant could be pretty exciting.
Washington Wizards – This is the classic star coming home story. The Wizards had their chance a few years ago and couldn’t get a meeting. They haven’t become any more appealing since then and they would have to break up their core to bring in Kevin Durant.
Los Angeles Clippers – The Clippers could be in play more than people realize. Former Golden State Warriors front office member, Jerry West, is now running things for the Clippers. They could also free up enough space to sign two max free agents. It would be great for the NBA if we had a LeBron vs KD battle for Los Angeles.