Kevin Durant to the Houston Rockets seems highly unlikely, but if there is one thing we’ve learned over the past several years in the NBA it’s that you can’t count out anything — see LeBron James, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard to name a few.
What if Kevin Durant returned to Texas?
What if K.D. and The Beard were reunited and draped in red instead of blue?
The Rockets want him, but of course they can’t say it. But you know they will do everything they reasonably can to land the six-time All-Star, 2013-14 NBA MVP and former Longhorn great. And just like the shocking Harden trade and Howard signing, they shouldn’t be counted out until Durant decides if he’s staying in Oklahoma City or finally leaving for a bigger, grander stage.
As for the possibility of having cap space to go after Durant? Well, Houston seemingly has cap space every year to go after marquee free agents. And as one NBA executive put it, the Rockets “always have a seat at the table” when it comes to going after big name players.
“The thing with Houston which I’ve always admired … it doesn’t matter where they are cap-wise – they’ve got room, they don’t have room,” former NBA executive Bobby Marks said. “But every single summer, they always have a seat at the table for free agency.”
The Rockets won’t just have an open spot. They’ll have cash and flexibility. They’ll have a short-term vision (NBA championship) and long-term sights (more championships). And if it all works and multiple moves click at once – just like it did when Ty Lawson, Harden and Howard suddenly showed up in downtown Houston – they could re-sign D12 and ink OKC’s current No. 35 in a single crazy summer.
Despite all the craziness that happens every summer during the free agency period, would KD to Houston really make sense? Apparently so.
But the potential of Durant in Rockets red already makes basketball and fiscal sense. And don’t think Harden’s ex-teammate – who still has strong ties in Austin and acknowledged Houston feels comfortable – hasn’t noticed what owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey have done to the place in the last few years.
“They like to swing for the fence here,” said Durant, before gliding onto the Toyota Center hardwood Monday for a standard 29 points, four made 3s, four boards and two blocks during a 110-105 defeat that gave the Rockets their first win of the season.
“They’re trying to get a lot of guys here surrounding around James,” Durant said. “They got some guys, they missed out on a few guys, but they still have a really, really good team. And they built it around James. Their front office and ownership, I’m sure, had him in mind whenever they make moves. They (turned) into a contender.”
Lastly, Durant may have hinted to us what type of possibility this “dream” has of happening when he was asked this question.
When Durant’s “swing for the fence” line was repeated back to him, the 27-year-old awkwardly smiled, put his head down and paused.
Check back in about 8 months.