(Today is SB Nation/NBA's annual summer theme day kickoff. First up: where will the Thunder be in 12 months?)
Alright, so I am going to break some news here. Twelve months is a long time from now and I have no idea what will be going on with theThunder. However, that is why we have crystal balls and my Kevin Durant-themed crystal ball tells me there are two scenarios of what will be happening with and around the Thunder in 12 months.
Scenario 1: Insanity. Madness. Thunder fans losing their minds.
So, the Thunder didn't win the NBA title in June and now we are in the midst of the final offseason before Kevin Durant is going to be a free agent. Things are going to get out of control. Look at what we are doing now. Over the past couple weeks, we have diagnosed every single happening involving Durant.
We dove into the news that the Wizards hired his former high school coach as a player development coach, two whole years before Durant will even think about free agency.
We have broken down him potentially signing with Maryland-based Under Armour and how that could potentially impact his free agency. Rumors swirled about why Durant dropped out of the FIBA World Cup. Did he not want to answer questions about Under Armour and the Wizards? What??!!
It's been straight madness and this is TWO years out. If the Thunder don't win the 2014-15 NBA title, we are going to get this type of speculation x1000. Hell, we may be analyzing Durant's shoe colors or what he eats trying to dig into his thoughts in 12 months.
We could see the speculation heat up because if Durant is still title-less and the Thunder's "window" could be closing. Can Durant ever win a title in OKC? It would make much more sense to the average fan for Durant to leave if he never wins an NBA title as a member of the Thunder. On the surface, he wouldn't owe the Thunder anything.
In 12 months, there could be pure chaos between Thunder fans and the speculation of Durant's 2016 free agency will be escalated to new heights, unless....
Scenario 2: The Thunder are crowned NBA champions in June. This is a real possibility. The Thunder have the best three-man core in the game with Durant-Russell Westbrook-Serge Ibaka. If all things go right and everyone stays healthy for once, they have as good a shot of anybody to be crowned NBA champions.
And you know what that would do? Simmer down the Durant free agency speculation dramatically.
Because I think Durant is basically a lock (we will revisit this in two years) to stay with the Thunder if he wins an NBA title with them.
I'm confident about this because the guy loves winning. From day one, winning NBA titles and becoming an all-time great along the way has been his mission. The Wizards are the only team I could possibly see him leaving for in 2016 too.
But remember, he loves winning and has won three times as many playoff games in the last five years (39) as a member of the Thunder than the Wizards/Bullets franchise has won in the last 26 years (14). Couple that with an NBA title and I just don't see a guy with Durant's mentality jumping ship.
No matter what these next twelve months entail, things are going to be exciting and full of chatter, but for Thunder fans and management an NBA title would make next August much more quiet.