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Tuesday, 05 August 2014 10:12

Will Kevin Durant Become A Laker in 2016?

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As Kevin Durant casts doubts over his future at the Oklahoma City Thunder, a move to the Los Angeles Lakers seems like a good move.

Now that LeBron has ended rumors and gone home, and people have become thoroughly bored of the Kevin Love rumblings, the NBA has been in need of a star casting doubts about his future. Kevin Durant has decided to be that player.

Over the past week or so, Durant has been suggesting that when his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder expires in 2016 and he becomes a free agent, he will part company with the city that adores him. There have been a few suggestions that Durant will copy LeBron and head back to his original team, the Washington Wizards.

It's something that doesn't seem very likely at this stage. But a move that does seem to make some sense is a move to the Los Angeles Lakers. After all, the Lakers are now entering a rebuilding mode, and 2016 could be the perfect time for them to bring in a big name to take them back to the top.

Legendary NBA writer Peter Vecsey told Celtics Beat that he thinks that Los Angeles is the perfect place for Durant to go.

''If Durant goes anywhere, I think he will go to the Lakers,'' Vecsey said. ''They will have a tremendous amount of money to give him, and Kobe [Bryant] will be on his way out at that point, so they won't have anybody.''

''A guy like [Durant] might want to start with a team like the Lakers, or he might want to go somewhere where he can win championships straight away. There are always so many factors involved.''

Indeed there are many factors. The two main ones are always considered to be money and ego. Which of these will apply to Durant in two years time remains to be seen.

Let's start with money. If Durant is looking for a big pay rise, then there are few teams that have a budget like the Lakers. By 2016, the Lakers will be hoping they have made some progress, instead of settling for being lottery pick fodder. If things go to plan, 2016 will be just the right time to bring in a big name that will seal the deal, and Durant will be just what the doctor ordered.

What about Durant's ego? Well, it is difficult to see him making a ''not three, not four...'' speech if he is unveiled in a Laker uniform. However, the idea of being the leader of the Lakers as they return to the top of the game is certainly very appealing. He wouldn't have to share the stage with two other players like LeBron had to. He could lead the team all by himself, just like Kobe Bryant has done for many years.

Just like LeBron's departure from Cleveland, Durant leaving Oklahoma City would leave a bit of a bad taste in the mouth. Durant is held up as a saint by Thunder fans, and the idea of him leaving for either money or an ego boost would damage his public image a little bit. It will probably all come down to the condition of both the Thunder and Lakers come 2016. If the Thunder don't seem to be getting closer to lifting a championship banner, or the Lakers have a spot open for a big name, then a move could be on the cards.

For now though, Durant has two years to take the Thunder to where they want to be.