Here's why OKC's meeting with Durant reportedly going well matters little
The Thunder might have had a productive meeting with their star, but how much does that mean at this point?
The Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly met with Kevin Durant for five hours on Thursday in advance of his foray into free agency, according to multiple outlets. Durant officially becomes an unrestricted free agent Thursday night/Friday morning at 12:01 a.m. ET. The meeting reportedly "went well," which is what everyone always leaks about a free agency meeting. From ESPN:
A successful meeting Thursday with Kevin Durant and his closest confidantes has put the incumbent Oklahoma City Thunder in a strong position as Durant moves into meetings with his five free-agent suitors, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that Thursday's five-hour meeting with Thunder officials at Chesapeake Energy Arena "went well" before Durant, his agent and business manager Rich Kleiman, and longtime friend and manager Charlie Bell boarded a flight to New York to prepare to start huddling with other teams Friday.
Rarely do teams come out of meetings and felt like "Man, we bombed that. We are definitely not getting that guy." Every free agent visit that has ever been reported on has "gone well."
Not to say the meeting didn't, in fact, go well. It probably did. The point here is just that there was never going to be anything else reported and it doesn't actually forecast anything meaningful as far as Durant's decision.
For instance, let me take you back to another blockquote from another free agency meeting from the past, this time, with key figures removed.
The [TEAM] came away from their 90-minute sit down with a renewed confidence that [PLAYER] will re-sign with them.
"It went very well," said a person with knowledge of [TEAM]'s visit, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. "It was very easy, very relaxed. There were moments of emotion and moments of laughter."
Sounds familiar, right?
And here's where that actually came from, with the full quote:
The Cavs came away from their 90-minute sit down with a renewed confidence that James will re-sign with them.
"It went very well," said a person with knowledge of Cleveland's visit, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. "It was very easy, very relaxed. There were moments of emotion and moments of laughter."
This doesn't mean Durant's leaving. It just means that when you hear reports that a meeting went well, especially with the player's incumbent team, you shouldn't react either way. Ultimately, it doesn't mean anything.
That said, there's significant momentum as of Thursday night that Durant is heavily leaning toward staying in Oklahoma City. The teams meeting with him over the weekend (the Warriors, Celtics, Heat, Spurs, and Clippers) are going to have to knock his socks off to get his attention. It's early, but the Thunder entered the set-up for free agency as the favorites to retain Durant and have maintained position heading into its official start Thursday night.
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