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Could the Heat Snag Kevin Durant in 2016?

kevin durant heat
photo edit via DwyaneWadeLegacy

Kevin Durant is entering the last season of his contract this upcoming season and will undoubtedly be one of the most highly touted free agents entering the market. Durant had made it known throughout the season that he has no intention of leaving Oklahoma City by saying the following:

“I love it here, man. I love my teammates, I love the city, I don’t really think about anywhere else,” Durant told Revolt TV in a recent interview. “I hear it all the time, don’t get me wrong, and once you hear it you’re kind of like [looks up, thinking]. But for me, I love staying in the moment, and I’m one of those guys that would love to stick it out with one team my whole career.

Durant has always had respect and admiration for the greats that have stayed with the same team for their entire career and would love to be considered one of those players:

“Kobe [Bryant], Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki type. That’s awesome,” he said. “But you never know what the future holds sometimes and how teams may feel about you after a while, but I love it here and I would love to get my jersey retired here.”

He hit the nail on the head there. “You never know what the future holds…”.

Every owner, GM, coach and fan will be closely monitoring Durant’s situation in OKC this year to see if there is any doubt that they would be able to resign him. If there is even a sliver of doubt within the organization to sign Durant, many teams will be contacting Jay Z, Durant’s agent, to inquire about KD. The Heat will of course be one of those teams.

While, as of now, it seems as though Durant wants to remain in Oklahoma City for the future, we can try to determine if the Heat have the cap space and pieces to even be able to attract Durant to Miami. Dan Le Batard from the Miami Herald went in depth about the possibility of Durant joining the Heat:

The Heat seems to want Wade to opt into his contract for next season at $16 million, then become a free agent and leave their and his future blank-check open. This will give the Heat the flexibility it craves to make a run at a player like Kevin Durant.

Pipe dream? Maybe.

But that’s what Wade himself once told the Heat about his great friend LeBron James being in Miami. Miami wants to have the flexibility that gets Riley in a room with Durant.

The Heat can have room for Wade, Bosh, Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and Durant … but only if Wade opts in for this year and gives them that flexibility by being a free agent in 2016. This requires Wade to have a lot of trust, obviously, and the leap of faith that the team will take care of him in 2016.

If there is any combination of player and president that could persuade someone like Durant to join their team, it would be Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade. The problem, as Le Batard points out, is that the Heat are unsure that they will be able to convince Wade to stay with the lack of stability that they would be promising him.

Obviously, the number one priority this off-season is to resign both Dragic and Wade, but the organization will surely keep in mind the possibility of bringing Durant to Miami in 2016 when doing so. Only time will tell whether the Heat have a realistic chance of acquiring Kevin Durant in next year’s free agency, but for now we must hope that the Heat will be able to keep their key assets, including Wade and Dragic, to even make that a possibility.