Kevin Durant joins the San Antonio Spurs—who stops it and how?
Few thought of this potential marriage because at face value the Spurs simply don’t have the cap space to lure Durant to Texas. Guys like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge seem to take up too much cap space to make it work.
Except it’s far from impossible if the Spurs play the cap space in a smart manner. According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, the Spurs might do just that:
San Antonio has rebuilt its dynasty, but rival executives believe the Spurs will explore ways of adding Durant to the mix, and the franchise’s culture makes it intriguing.
It’s not as silly as it sounds. Look at a list of cap info provided by CSNNW:
— CSNNW (@CSNNW) March 18, 2016
Those older guys take up a large portion of cap. Say they retire and the team obviously deals a Danny Green or Boris Diaw to make room.
Bam. Durant on the Spurs.
Who says no to the deal? The Spurs, like any team, would love to have Durant. As for the player himself, it stinks leaving a small-market team like Oklahoma City, but it’s a lesser betrayal to join San Antonio than it is to chase a major market such as say, Los Angeles or New York. And Durant’s entire demeanor and image fit in quite well with guys like Duncan, not LeBron James or Kobe Bryant.
It’s almost too good to be true. But remember, folks said the same thing last year when the Spurs came up in discussions about Aldridge. Look at them now.
As for the Leonard-Durant fit on the court, it’s hard to imagine the two superstars would have a problem making things work. NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman put it best when examining the situation:
Fitting Leonard and Durant won’t be seamless, but the natural small forwards are talented and versatile enough to share forward responsibilities. Aldridge could play more center, especially if Duncan retires. Though Aldridge has made his distaste for playing center known, he might sacrifice for Durant.
Maybe it wouldn’t be the easiest transition in the world, but when the Spurs figure it out?
San Antonio hasn’t reset the franchise just yet, with the old guard hanging around and going quite well with a 58-10 record. Title contenders, even. But the smooth transition can continue with an exclamation mark if the front office can make the Durant numbers work. It’s the perfect fit, both in what the franchise wants to achieve and for Durant as a person, never mind the obvious on-court success the pairing would have.
So while it sounds like this scenario could only come to fruition in a video game, the Spurs have proven as recently as last offseason that is simply not the case. And if folks far and wide understand it, Durant does as well.
The summer of Durant has started to pick up. In an unexpected turn of events, it’s the Spurs who might make the most sense.