“Kevin Durant” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Keith Allison
Kevin Durant has been a key member of the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder since he was selected with the second overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft. However, that could all change in the coming weeks and months. According to reports, the Los Angeles Clippers are attempting to negotiate a sign-and-trade transaction that would send Blake Griffin across to Oklahoma in exchange for Durant. The Clippers are one of the NBA’s most prestigious sides and, while the LA Lakers may be the first Los Angeles team to come into most people’s heads, their city rivals are certainly on the rise.
If nothing else, Durant’s experience and tactical knowledge would benefit Los Angeles – especially as they continue to build what could be the next major force in the National Basketball Association. The Clippers have finished inside the Western Conference’s top five in each of the last four years and they look well on the way to emulating this feat once again. Unfortunately, they are yet to make a major impact in the postseason. But, who knows, this could be their year. If they show enough quality and improvement, it may tempt Durant to push for the trade – especially if Oklahoma are considering the move as well.
At the time of writing, the Oklahoma City Thunder are priced at 14/1 in the NBA betting odds and Durant will play a key role in their chances of success throughout the remainder of the season. The Thunder, who last won the NBA Championship back in 2012, are there or thereabouts but may find it difficult to beat Western Conference rivals Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. With the Los Angeles Clippers also in contention, Durant could be joining one of Oklahoma’s main rivals – which is why this trade is still very much up in the air.
In March, Durant was phenomenal in Oklahoma’s victory over the Clippers – scoring 30 points whilst racking up 12 rebounds and seven assists. It is uncertain whether this performance helped to fuel rumors of a potential move away to Los Angeles but Durant’s talent and quality on the court is clear for all to see. On his day, he is as good as anyone in the NBA. He is arguably Oklahoma’s Most Valuable Player but it may well be time to cut the cord – especially with Russell Westbrook taking an increased role for the franchise. After all, he’s been there for almost ten years and has certainly contributed to Oklahoma’s success during the modern era.
So, is this trade plausible? Well, it would make sense for both teams. The Clippers need an experienced veteran like Durant to continue their assault on the NBA whilst Oklahoma now have Westbrook in fine form and he could be ready to step up as Oklahoma’s main man. If nothing else, it’s easy to see this trade happening and it will be an interesting few months for both franchises in the build-up to free agency.