Originally posted on Wizards Extreme  |  Last updated 3/28/13
A few days ago, we received an e-mail from Matthew Rich, an avid reader of Wizards Extreme, expressing his thoughts about a potential acquisition in 2016 that would not only re-shape the state of the Washington Wizards franchise for many, many years, but an acquisition that would make history for the sport of basketball in the city of Washington. We're talking about Kevin Durant. Now, of course, it's considered entirely far fetched to even allow these thoughts to surface at this particular time, not just because of the current state of the franchise as it's still polishing up it's "rebuild", but also the fact that, well, 2016 is still three years away. Nevertheless, we read through the email, which was very well thought out, and decided to respond and give our take as well. Have a look... Matthew's message: First off, I am an avid reader of this blog. I am a devout NBA and basketball fan, and one of my hobbies is to read up on every single team in order to get a sense of each and every organization. First and foremost, I am potentially Kevin Durant's biggest fan. Like Trevor with C-Webb, I became a KD fan his freshman year at UT. I grew up in Fort Worth, TX, so he was huge everywhere that year with Austin only 2 1/2 hours away. My fandom followed him to Seattle, and now ultimately to OKC. Therefore, I have grown to be a devout Thunder fan. With the Wizards in town tonight, I began to think about their fans and their relationship to KD. With his contract up in 2016, I've begun to notice a slight change in his tone about re-upping with OKC. It used to be an unequivocal “YES, I am staying here my entire career.” But last time he was asked on twitter, KD responded, "Who knows what the future holds, but I'm planning on it." This sounds eerily similar to the stance that Melo, LeBron, CP3, etc. took before they left. Now I ask you, as a fan base, and considering KD is now argued as potentially the best player from the DMV ever now, over some HOFers, is he the big fish that this fan base desperately wants? Would y'all start doing anything to try and get him? By y'all, I mean not only the fans but the organization as well. I think if KD is ever to leave OKC, being the type of person he is, a homecoming to the DMV would be his top choice, especially if the Wizards are on the ascension, as these past two months are showing, especially with a Wall/Beal backcourt. Considering that he has Maryland and DMV tattooed all over his torso, I think this is possible. However, the Wizards would have to start formulating their team to be attractive and to clear salaries off their books, similar to what the Knicks did with Melo. What are you guys' thoughts to this? Am I off base, or on to something? I for one, would be open to a KD-Wizards union if he were to leave OKC if that meant a better shot at titles. That is the only team I would want him to go to, though. Much appreciated, and kind regards, Matthew. Chuck's response: Matthew, as a lifelong Washingtonian and Wiz/Bullets fan, you just gave me a serious basketball chubby. You make some very good points that have me happier than a fat kid at a pie eating contest. Real quick..while on the topic of impending blockbuster free agents and their possibility of "returning home", it’ll be interesting to see what LeBron does next year, as it may be indicitive of what Durant ultimately decides to do a summer or two later. Is LeBron going to stay put in Miami or opt out to try to bring a championship to his hometown...AGAIN..? The Cavs are in the process of rebuilding and assembling the pieces to make the return to Cleveland attractive for LeBron. Remember, he started the whole “I need another superstar movement,” and as the best player in the league, players will follow his lead. With all that said, I do think with the second-half performances from John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards are much closer to becoming respectable and attractive than the Cavs. This is a factor that will help the Wizards make a potential blockbuster free agent landing, and something that owner Ted Leonsis has stressed as part of his "plan." Now, about that Kevin Durant. We all know how much KD loves the DMV. He comes back every summer for the Goodman League and reps his area as much as possible. Durant has seen the improvement and potential of joining the Wiz Kids first hand. The Wizards have beaten the Thunder two years in a row at the Verizon Center; both games went down to the last shot and were in front of a raucous crowd. Last year, KD missed the game winning shot at the buzzer, and this year Bradley Beal made the game-winning shot. While KD has proven himself to be extremely loyal, a return to his hometown team would be the only way I could see Durant leaving the OKC. That, and Russell Westbrook. With that said, the Wizards could position themselves to make a strong case for Durant opting out. I know it’s laughable to estimate salaries and salary cap three years out, especially with Ernie Grunfeld handing out 5 year-$35 million contract extensions to the likes of Andray Blatche, but let’s speculate a bit. In the summer of 2016 the Wizards cap situation should be great. John Wall looks as if he’ll be earning somewhere close to a max deal and Bradley Beal will have just finished his rookie contract. Ariza and Okafor come off the books in the summer of 2014, which frees up a little over $22 million. Nene’s $13 million salary comes off the books in the summer of 2016. So conceivably, the Wizards could go into the summer of 2016 with just John Wall on the roster. Of course, I EXPECT Martell Webster to get resigned this offseason and Bradley Beal to be a Wizard forever, but it would be interesting to see how it all plays out. I'll leave you with this image: LeBron returns to his hometown hoping to bring a championship to the downtrodden city of Cleveland, only to be thwarted by KD’s return to his hometown. KD vs. LeBron, Wall vs. Kyrie, Beal vs. Waiters.... and I just gave myself another basketball chubby.
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