Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti has slammed rumors that the franchise could consider trading Kevin Durant as “ludicrous”.
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ESPN analyst Tom Penn reported earlier this week that the Thunder could be open to dealing the reigning league MVP given the current form of point guard Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook has recorded five triple-doubles in his last seven games as Durant remains sidelined with injury, and so Penn’s argument was that OKC could afford to trade their star forward, despite the fact that they still remain out of the playoff spots in the Western Conference.
In addition, part of the theory behind the speculation was due to the fact that there is still some uncertainty over whether or not Durant will sign a new deal with the franchise as he is scheduled to become a free agent next summer.
With the Washington Wizards amongst others leading the chase and monitoring his situation, if the 26-year-old decides against re-signing with Oklahoma City, then the organisation would be forced into trading him.
However, Presti was keen to stress that they have no plans of doing so and dismissed speculation suggesting otherwise.
“It’s ludicrous to assert that we would trade Kevin. There’s no way to measure what he represents to our organization on and off the floor. He has helped build this organization from the ground up and personifies the Thunder: past, present and future,” Presti said, according to The Oklahoman.
“When he’s done playing there will be streets named after him throughout the state and younger generations of Oklahomans will learn about the role Kevin has played in elevating this community in ways beyond basketball.”
The Thunder might lose Durant in 2016, but it is more likely to be a case of him wanting a new challenge elsewhere rather than the franchise willingly letting him go.