Oklahoma City fired coach Scott Brooks on April 22, but if the Thunder are hoping they can hire a replacement—Billy Donovan? Tom Thibodeau?—who will tilt the scales enough to prevent forward Kevin Durant from bolting in free agency next summer, they best think again. While the cap rules will change with the next CBA, Oklahoma City will still be able to offer the most money to the 2014 NBA MVP and, as long as All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook is around, a shot at championships. But OKC may not be able to match the tug of Durant's hometown Wizards, the wattage of teams in New York and L.A., or annual contenders such as the Mavs, who play in a state with no income tax. Durant may stay, but if he does it will be for his own reasons, not because he likes the guy on the sidelines.
This is an article from the May 4, 2015 issue