John Wall: I’m ready to recruit Kevin Durant to Washington
The NBA season is still a month away from tipping off, but for many, the attention is already on the mythical summer of 2016 when four-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant becomes an unrestricted free agent. One player who is ready to focus all of his efforts on the Durant’s recruiting trail is All-Star point guard John Wall, whose Washington Wizards are considered a frontrunner for the former MVP’s services next summer.
“There’s going to be an opportunity to where you have an opportunity to throw a pitch at him and to try to get him to come back home,” said Wall of Durant, a Washington native, via CSN Mid-Atlantic. “But I know one thing of just knowing him, he’s really going to be very focused on taking care of Oklahoma City Thunder this season, and I’m going to be focused on taking care of the Washington Wizards. But when the time is right and he can get away from all that, yeah, we’ll probably have some conversation and throw a pitch.”
Perhaps Wall, a pass-first point guard who averaged 10.0 assists last season and is one of the best in the league at generating efficient, open looks for teammates, can paint himself as the anti-Russell Westbrook.
With Wall and Marcin Gortat locked up through 2019 and a cornucopia of young talent on the wing with Otto Porter Jr., rookie Kelly Oubre, and especially bright young guard Bradley Beal (who can hopefully get his extension with the Wiz done soon), the Wizards certainly have the roster strength to sell Durant on leaving OKC.
If Wall can really sell the homecoming angle and a full willingness to play Robin to Durant’s Batman, Washington has a strong chance of prying Durant away from the Thunder. With an unproven first-year head coach in Billy Donovan for OKC, Durant’s dysfunctional relationship with the local media, his constant battle with Westbrook for shot attempts and creative control, and a much easier path to contention offered by the Eastern Conference, the Wizards have a real shot. The team and Wall just have to get the pitch right and pray that Oklahoma City falls short in the playoffs this year.
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