In classic ESPN form, an NBA analyst has started the NBA world on fire by throwing out the idea that Kevin Durant could be traded before his contract expires after next season.
Tom Penn, the former Portland Trail Blazers general manager that passed up on Kevin Durant to draft Greg Oden, said on ESPN Radio’s The Herd that he believes Russell Westbrook’s triple-double barrage makes the trading of Kevin Durant more likely.
Here’s the full quote from Penn to Colin Cowherd:
“I think this burst from Westbrook makes it much more likely that Durant ultimately gets traded next year. … Sam Presti has proven that he does not ever want to lose anybody for nothing. So he traded James Harden a year early to avoid a potential luxury tax problem a year later.
“The Kevin Durant drumbeat next year is going to be so loud because he will not commit early to Oklahoma City contractually because the rules are against that. He can’t get the same contract if he signs early as if he just goes to free agency and resigns.
So if Sam Presti doesn’t get that commitment, he’ll look to to trade Kevin Durant. And looking at the performance of Westbrook and the team around Westbrook will make it easier for him to do that potentially.”
Now that every talking head is talking about it, ESPN can say ‘mission accomplished’. Penn’s logic is flawed, as James Harden then wasn’t near the player his is now, nor the player that Kevin Durant is now. Also, six weeks of Russell Westbrook playing like this isn’t enough to just give up on re-signing the face of the franchise and reigning MVP.
There are so many questions to be answered between now and Durant’s free agency, but why not set the NBA world ablaze now?