Whether your team wins a title, barely misses the playoffs, or wastes a season in the fan-dreaded “re-building stage”, free agency is a chance for franchises and fans alike to dream big, and hope for the best. Every year there are either buyers, sellers, or teams that are content with the way that their roster appears on paper and are willing to test the waters in the season(s) ahead. Usually, fans are pretty aware with their team’s normal stand on free agency and know what to expect. For example, teams like the Los Angles Lakers usually open their wallets big time and try to lure in the biggest names available, while teams like the Philadelphia 76ers normally remain quiet and keep their wallets hidden under the sofa. If the past is any indication, the Hawks tend to stick to the conservative side, let the big names pan out, then throw small amounts of cash on mere of washed-up talent. Although such ideology is to be expected from Hawks fans, don’t be surprised to see that trend change in the upcoming offseason.
It’s a rarity to see a superstar talent pack his bags and head for a new home, but it does happen. In July of 2010, Cleveland superstar Lebron James left to take his “talents to South Beach,” where he won two NBA titles in four appearances as a member of the Heat. A player of a similar caliber is on the market this year, and Atlanta is the perfect destination for the superstar looking for a fresh start. Oklahoma City great Kevin Durant is free to pick the organization he wishes to suit up for next season, and all evidence points to him finding a new home.
Durant had the perfect life in Oklahoma City, he was the man of the state, and appeared to be the next big NBA star. However things came to an abrupt halt when a second superstar appeared wearing the same uniform. Russell Westbrook is one of the most explosive point guards in the NBA, and a triple double machine. With the production and the numbers he puts in on a nightly basis, it was obvious why the experts and analysts decided to crown Westbrook as the team superstar, leaving Durant in the shadows of past hope and glory. Many fans, including myself, figured the duo would be able to sync up and win multiple championships together, but after leading the Golden State Warriors 3-1 in a best of 7 series and allowing Steph Curry and Klay Thompson rally behind and ultimately win the West, it’s clear that the title ship has sailed in Oklahoma City.
Durant may have not been the superstar in the Thunder’s organization but he still has the numbers and talents to be a superstar and potentially win a ring with whatever lucky organization he choses to call home. Posting an outstanding 28.4 points per game last season, all 30 teams in the NBA, including Oklahoma City, will be throwing their best bids in order to obtain his talents for years to come. Speculation came about late in the 2014 season that Kevin would like to go back to his hometown and play for the Washington Wizards, but with that destination would come a similar issue, sharing the spot light with another freak of nature, John Wall. Thus, Washington seems like an unlikely fit. Atlanta on the other hand, would be the ideal location for the man of the offseason.
Without a definite “superstar” the Hawks faired pretty well, as they always do, but failed to live up to the hype once the playoffs came, AGAIN! The addition of Durant would change the dynamic of the team and the city like never before, mainly because the last big name player that the Hawks had was Dominque Wilkins in the 80’s. Durant would inherit a team ready to contend, and the lone superstardom the he so desperately covets. Atlanta would be blessed with a talent the organization has yet to see, a realistic opportunity to dethrone the Cavilers’ in the East, and potentially win the ring Hawks fans have been dreaming about.
Personally, I see it as a realistic possibility the Durant leaves the Midwest to join the Atlanta Hawks this offseason, the question is, how much would it cost to land him? Let us know your opinions by commenting on this article, and be sure to continue to follow other story lines on Atlanta Sports Page!