Kevin Durant’s free agency will be the biggest storyline of the 2016 offseason, and there will surely be plenty of suitors for the 2013-14 MVP. Unsurprisingly, one of those suitors will be Pat Riley and the Miami Heat, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
However, Durant to South Beach is a long shot. First of all, Durant’s current squad, the Oklahoma City Thunder, has a great chance to re-sign him thanks to their current situation. Other teams like his hometown Washington Wizards and even the loaded Golden State Warriors are attractive destinations. The big-market New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers will surely make pitches as well. Needless to say, the competition will be stiff.
Second, the Heat will have their own salary cap issues to deal with. Hassan Whiteside is due for a massive contract, and Miami will have to use precious cap space to re-sign him if it wants to. Assuming he’s looking for a max or near-max deal, the Heat likely couldn’t have both Whiteside and Durant.
There’s also the matter of Dwyane Wade. He’s set to have a massive cap hold as a free agent, and who knows what kind of contract he’ll be looking for in the summer.
Of course, if Riley were to get a commitment from Durant, the Heat would surely find a way to make things work. Moving on from Wade would be tough, but saying goodbye to Whiteside in favor of signing Durant is a no-brainer. So watch out for Riley and Co. next summer.