Kevin Durant will be the biggest name in free agency this summer, assuming LeBron James does not seriously entertain meeting with suitors should he opt out. The Thunder star has a lot to weigh in his decision, including championship chances, market and personal preference. According to Durant, who spoke Wednesday at the Thunder's postseason media availability, one thing he won't do is one of those long, drawn-out free agency wine-and-dine tours.
Kevin Durant on taking a recruiting tour and wanting to be recruited: "That's not who I am ... I'm not that type of person."— Royce Young (@royceyoung) June 1, 2016
The most-likely scenario is that Durant hosts a series of meetings in L.A. (where he has a home and spends a great deal of time in during the summer) with various interested parties, not unlike what LeBron James did in 2010. He'll then make his decision, unless he's already decided to return to OKC, whether on a five-year deal or the expected two-year deal with an opt out in the second season. Then he may not even entertain such offers.
It makes a lot of sense for Durant not to take such meetings. They're not going to tell him anything he doesn't already know. He's always been focused on basketball first, and he knows what they're going to offer him. The fact that he's not "looking forward to the process" as a lot of players say when they talk about free agency, however, seems notable.
Carmelo Anthony wanted to be wined and dined, and LaMarcus Aldridge took meetings. There's a pride element involved. Durant re-signed with the Thunder quietly in 2010, announcing on Twitter that he had done his deal. He doesn't need the validation brought about by that kind of ordeal. If anything, this shows that Durant is focused on basketball.
That doesn't make his decision easier, however. The Thunder have done what they could to give him reason to stay, but the Warriors provide a better opportunity, objectively , to win a title. Or maybe Durant will feel differently about Miami, Houston or San Antonio. That's what this may come down to. Feelings. Either way, Durant's not in this for bells and whistles. He's in this for the ring. That's it.