NBA Insider tabs 14x All-Star as 'one hell of a fit' for Thunder this summer

Jan 8, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault
Jan 8, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This OKC Thunder team is rolling right along through this year's NBA Playoffs.

With their first-round series against the New Orleans Pelicans already in the books, the ball club is patiently awaiting word on who their second-round opponent will be between the LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks.

However, despite their historic successes during this year's campaign and the very real possibility that they could be the ones to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy come the conclusion of the postseason, some still believe that Oklahoma City is one piece away from reaching the promised land and that this summer could be the time for them to cash in their influx of draft assets for said piece.

Over the past year or so, many names have been mentioned as being possible targets Sami Presti and company could look to pursue to change the perception of this Thunder team being known as an up-and-comer to being a legitimate title favorite.

From star players to stud contributors, the list of talents suggested has been quite extensive.

Recently, NBA Insider Tim MacMahon dropped his two cents into the conversation of who OKC may wish to consider targeting to up their odds of championship contention come next year and, in his eyes, he believes that a reunion with former cornerstone Kevin Durant should be on the table.

NBA Insider believes Kevin Durant would be a good fit with Thunder

While Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia has publicly gone out and stated that he plans to run things back with this team's current core next year despite having just been swept by the lesser-experienced Minnesota Timberwolves in round one, MacMahon believes that a rebuild is necessary for the team to get itself back on track.

Step one in such a process would be to try and acquire as many draft picks as possible in exchange for their win-now talents, and, unsurprisingly, the Thunder were mentioned as a team who could provide such assets.

As we've seen from their actions over the last several seasons, Presti hasn't been all that willing to offload assets from his illustrious war chest, though, in MacMahon's opinion, a player like Durant could be enough for him to cough up a few picks.

"I think the best way out for the Suns is certainly not what Mat Ishbia wants to hear and that would be to trade Kevin Durant. Now, you’re not contending right away by doing that. You’re probably taking a step back, but if you want to have a chance to build something sustainable around Devin Booker, I think that would be the only logical route given the lack of assets. There would still be plenty of interest in Kevin Durant. My first phone call probably would be to his original home. I don’t know what Oklahoma City’s interest would be, but I could convince myself he would be one hell of a fit there and it wouldn’t be about the players you’re getting back, but obviously the picks in that case."

Tim MacMahon

To many, the concept of Durant making his way back to the Thunder is far from an enjoyable thought to ponder on, as the bitter taste from his departure still remains on the tounge of many of the franchise's faithful followers.

However, take personal vendettas out of the equation, and there's a lot to like about this hypothetical reunion.

Not only is the veteran a 14-time All-Star who is coming off yet another tremendous season where he posted 27.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.2 blocks on 52.3 percent shooting from the floor and 41.3 percent shooting from distance, but he's a player with ample postseason experience and two NBA Championships and Finals MVPs to his name.

Adding such a commodity to this rising young Thunder team could prove to be invaluable, especially if (god forbid) they fall short of a title this season.

On top of all this, the acquisition of Durant could realistically help keep the lineup with Chet Holmgren serving as the starting five as Oklahoma City's preferred arrangement, as his addition at the four would strengthen the team's interior presence on the defensive end without the kind of sacrifice to their offense that would come if they were to look into adding a more traditional big to the equation.

The argument that so many fans have that there's "only one ball" and that his game wouldn't gel with guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams is, in all honesty, selling the basketball intelligence that all these players have a bit short.

High-IQ ballers find a way to make things work, and all these aforementioned names, including Coach of the Year Mark Daigneault, have one. It's as simple as that.

Now, of course, this is not a case that the OKC Thunder should look to pursue a blockbuster move for Durant this summer. Frankly, with the way the club has played all year coupled with their young age and overall chemistry, it likely would be in the team's best interest to try and keep the majority of this core together moving forward, and a move for the superstar forward would undoubtedly gut half of it.

However, in the hypothetical and, admittedly, unlikely event that Oklahoma City goes superstar shopping this summer on the trade block, MacMahon is right in stating that KD would be "one hell of a fit" on this team.

Fortunately, it appears they don't need him anyway, thus leaving this idea as nothing more than a fun and entertaining conversation among Thunder nation.