2019 NBA free agency: Ranking Kevin Durant’s best potential landing spots

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Kevin Durant
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2. Brooklyn Nets

For three years, Kevin Durant has had to hear all the talk about how he’s a snake for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder, how he’s a cupcake for joining the team that bested him in his last playoff series with OKC, how he ruined the league by skewing the balance of power in the NBA.

That Achilles injury threw a monkey wrench into his plans to find a new challenge, but if he were to leave the Warriors and silence all that unending rabble, the Brooklyn Nets make the most sense. Not only would he be teaming up with another star in Kyrie Irving, but he’d also get to live in New York … while playing for a much more competent organization than the Knicks.

Under general manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson, the Nets have put behind their image as the team that gave up everything for an over-the-hill Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. They’ve got a much more stable front office and roster than the Knicks, they’re about to land Kyrie, they’ve got room for another max-level player … and they’re even going for a secret weapon, DeAndre Jordan.

KD and Jordan are good friends, and if they’re able to figure out a way to make the money work, the additions of Kyrie and DJ would probably make Brooklyn the frontrunner. D’Angelo Russell would be gone, but this team would still have plenty of talent and complementary pieces like Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and Allen Crabbe.

The Nets would have time to improve the roster, let Kyrie take the lead for a year and prepare for Durant’s return in 2020-21. Given Marks’ talent for roster construction, that’s a pretty savory prospect for the team that now holds the best odds to secure his services, per Odds Shark.

According to Bleacher Report‘s Ric Bucher, Durant has met with Irving twice to discuss joining the same team. Brooklyn is almost certainly where Kyrie is heading, so there’s a good chance the Nets wind up with the second-most prized free agent of the summer.

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Connor Letourneau said he’s “very much interested” in staying with the Warriors, but the general feeling around the league is he’ll head to New York, with the Nets being the favorite.

So why are they not No. 1? Because that injury changed everything, and there are several factors that provide more security for KD with his final option.