With the free agency period of LeBron James concluded, everyone is pointing toward Kevin Durant‘s looming decision during the summer of 2016. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Miami Heat has only about $29 million tied up in cap commitments for that summer and–given the cap projections–will have enough money to chase after a max-level player.
But that doesn’t make the Heat a prime contender for Durant.
But Durant easily could stay in Oklahoma City (“I love it here,” he said recently) or go to his hometown Washington (he admired James for returning to his roots) or sign with another marquee-market team with a lot of cap space that summer (Lakers, Bulls, Knicks).
So even though Durant owns a condo in Miami — he’s remodeling it but hasn’t decided whether to sell it — Durant would be more wishful thinking than a likelihood for the Heat.
Other free agents in 2016 include Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Mike Conley, Nicolas Batum and Joe Johnson among others. Not to mention Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons could opt out. Next summer’s class offers some top-level free agents, too. Rajon Rondo, DeAndre Jordan, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Goran Dragic, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol and many others.
The Heat may not be the destination it was with James in the fold, but it will still be an intriguing option for free agents. It just probably isn’t a real contender for Durant.