Many NBA clubs are overlooking this summer of free agency and focusing solely on the summer of 2015, when the such players as Kevin Love hit the market.
Some teams are even looking as far as 2016.
One such team is the New York Knicks, who recently named Derek Fisher their head coach. Fisher just wrapped up his third season with the Oklahoma City Thunder playing alongside the consensus No. 2 player in the NBA, Kevin Durant.
The reason Fisher just got a job coaching in New York is because the Thunder were bounced out of the playoffs, and Durant again missed a chance at a ring. If that trends continues into the summer of 2016 when he becomes a free agent, ESPN New York reports Fisher could recruit Durant to the Knicks.
But if Oklahoma City fails to win a championship, that could change Durant’s thinking.
It may be hard to fathom given Durant’s impassioned MVP speech, but some of those close to Durant believe that as much as he loves OKC, he may leave in free agency if things don’t change.
“He only wants to win a championship,” one league source familiar with Durant’s thinking said Tuesday. And Fisher’s presence could help lead him to New York if he decides to bolt Oklahoma City.
“It will definitely be a factor,” the league source said.
Fisher reportedly developed a strong relationship with Durant during their time together, and if Fisher succeeds in New York it could be appealing to the reigning MVP to pursue a championship elsewhere.
Of course, a lot can happen between now and 2016, and the Knicks could go in a lot of different directions in terms of adding personnel. Not only is Carmelo Anthony a candidate for free agency, but there are rumors the team could chase after LeBron James this summer or Love next offseason.
There’s also a strong chance Durant opts not to leave Oklahoma City, the franchise he has been a part of since he was drafted by what was then the Seattle Supersonics. If the Thunder finally break through and win an NBA championship, leaving might not be an option.