DOUBLE TAKE: KD: Does he stay or go?

Matt Algarin and Andrew Metz
Matt Algarin and Andrew Metz

Matt’s Take:

While the NBA season is still in full swing, it’s never too early to start thinking about the summer free agent frenzy.

There are some big names hitting the market, as well as others who could opt out of their current deals and test the waters of free agency.

Don’t expect to see a lot of the big fish opt out. There’s no way LeBron James, who has a player’s option, will opt out of his deal with the Cavs and leave Cleveland. So after King James, who’s left?

Honestly, probably the second best player in the game currently, Kevin Durant. I don’t see Durant leaving Oklahoma City, but he should certainly test the market and see what he could fetch elsewhere.

There’s been talk that Durant could land in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Brooklyn just to name a few, but if Durant is smart, he’ll take the LeBron James approach and sign a short two-year deal with a player option in year two.

Other players poised for big paydays include Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, who will probably land a max deal somewhere; Golden State’s Harrison Barnes and Miami’s Hassan Whiteside.

There are plenty of teams that have money to toss around, so don’t think these guys won’t be tempted by big bucks. They only have so many years to get paid, so paper chase they will.

While there are some nice players to be had, the majority of the free agent frenzy will focus on Durant, and deservedly so. He’s a great player. Oklahoma will never win an NBA title, with or without Durant and Russell Westbrook on the roster. So how much does loyalty play into it for Durant?

That’s the question we’ll have to wait and find the answer to come summer 2016.

Hope you are ready for the ride.

Andrew’s Take:

I need a new NBA jersey, time for some moves.

Last weekend, a few streaks ended in Brooklyn.

Besides the end of winter’s snowlessness in New York City, the Nets snapped a five-game losing streak and the Thunder’s seven-game winning streak.

What’s the big deal, right? In an 82-game season, bad teams beat good teams. It happens.

Brooke Lopez and company knew that this game meant more than just 1/82nd of the regular season, though. Kevin Durant will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the Nets know that Durant presents the best opportunity to lift Brooklyn from the depths of the NBA gutter.

This will be the biggest story of the offseason, despite LeBron James’ Player Option. James is going to stay in Cleveland and get paid. End of discussion.

OKC is having a good season. But no one is really talking about a potential championship run. The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are the class of the Association, and the Thunder would have to go through both teams just to make it to the NBA Finals.

The odds are against Oklahoma City in a big way.

After nine years with the franchise, and no rings, I think it’s time for KD to move on.

It’s hard for me to attribute this stance to anything but selfishness. I want to see Durant playing just three miles away from my apartment.

But I truly believe that Durant, alone, could create a huge swing in the effectiveness of the Nets’ roster.

In a column about the biggest free agents, that’s enough about Durant.

Dwight Howard will opt out, because that’s what he does. And I don’t care where he goes.

Bradley Beal will stay in Washington, because the Eastern Conference offers the easiest path to the Finals.

Al Horford will stay in Atlanta, because he’s boring, and so is Atlanta.

Pau Gasol will opt out in Chicago, maybe to go play with his brother?

And, in other news, Dwyane Wade will be in Miami forever.