Clutch City fans can give up any hope of Kevin Durant coming to H-Town, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
Stein wrote today that Durant and James Harden have been spending time together, but that sources have told him it won't likely have any impact on Durantula's interest in the Houston Rockets when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Durant and Harden, as you may remember, made it to the 2012 NBA Finals together as teammates in Oklahoma City before being dismissed by the Miami Heat.
This obviously is disappointing news, since a Durant-Harden reunion in a Mike D'Antoni-run offense sounds heavenly, but the good news is that, if reports are on point, then the Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey can now focus their efforts on more realistic options. That is if owner Les Alexander will stay the hell out of the way.
Durant is the premier free agent this off-season but all signs point to him re-upping for the short term with OKC, and that makes complete sense. The Thunder were minutes away from making it to the NBA Finals before they wet the bed against the Golden State Warriors. They have a younger, more balanced roster than the Rockets, a rising star coach in Billy Donovan, and KD has chemistry with the mercurial superstar Russell Westbrook. Why would Durant not want to give it one more shot, especially since the salary cap will have another big bump next season.
For now, it's time for the Rockets to go after players not in the A+ tier. Al Horford and Mike Conley would be welcome additions for a team that has lacked both a dominant forward that plays both ways and a floor general who is comfortable both shooting and dishing the rock. Or the Rockets could pick up Chandler Parsons or Pau Gasol in an effort to make up for lost time. As long as they don't just stand pat, we will consider (almost) anything an improvement.