NBA Betting Odds on Where Will Kevin Durant Sign
You know those NBA futures betting odds you can find at sportsbooks like Mybookie.ag? Well, they could be essentially worthless soon. Why is that? NBA free agency officially opens on Friday and of course the biggest-name available — other than LeBron James, who will re-sign with the champion Cleveland Cavaliers — is Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant. If he leaves OKC, the Thunder’s title hopes get much worse. And if he goes to the Warriors or Spurs, that team becomes the clear favorite on NBA betting lines to win the 2017 title.
Taking a Look at the NBA Betting Odds on Where Will Kevin Durant Sign
The Thunder are -330 betting favorites to keep Durant and many feel he will stay put alongside fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook. The Thunder nearly upset the Warriors in the conference finals, blowing a 3-1 series lead. So the Thunder appear close to winning a title and made a bold trade during the draft with Orlando to get Victor Oladipo and others for Serge Ibaka. Durant is scheduled to meet with the Thunder on Thursday before free agency begins. The 27-year-old Durant has spent his entire nine-year career with the Thunder franchise. He averaged 28.2 points per game this past season.
Most believe Durant will sign a one-year deal with a player option for the following season. If he re-signs for one season and delays his long-term choice another summer, he’d become a 10-year player, and stand to be eligible for a 35 percent max deal rather than a 30 percent. It’s the difference in some $85 million over the entire length of a new contract. Plus then Durant can tie his fortunes to Westbrook, who will be a free agent after next season.
The Warriors are +500 to sign Durant and they are putting a full-court press on him. After meeting with the Thunder on Thursday, Durant will fly to New York to meet with the remaining five teams on his list over the first few days of July. His first meeting on the morning of July 1 will be with the Warriors. Obviously Golden State would be offensively unstoppable with Durant, but they would have to dump a few guys to get enough salary room. They’d probably allow Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli to leave as free agents and trade Andrew Bogut. And it would look like Durant is title chasing.
The Miami Heat are +745. There’s the lure of South Beach and no income taxes in Florida. The Heat have some major question marks: Will Dwyane Wade return? Will Hassan Whiteside? What about the health of Chris Bosh? The Heat will meet with Durant on Sunday.
The San Antonio Spurs round out the favorites at +1000 on betting lines. Of course the Spurs lost to the Thunder in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Not only would signing Durant mortally cripple the Thunder, but it would elevate the Spurs to favorites over the Warriors in the West for next season and beyond. While free-agency negotiations are allowed to begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday, players’ current teams can meet with them prior to that period, with agreements not binding until the July 7 start of the signing period.
Expert Betting Prediction
Durant takes that one-year deal with an option and gives it one more shot with OKC and Westbrook.