The Washington Wizards are looking at ways to improve their roster after getting a hefty whiff of postseason last year. The young team, led by John Wall and Bradley Beal, added Paul Pierce overnight on Saturday and now have eyes not on adding another big free agent this summer but in two years when one of the best player on the planet becomes eligible for free agency.
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Kevin Durant is set to hit the open market in the summer of 2016 and much like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony this year, 2016 projects to be the summer of Durant. Washington seems like an odd choice to be coveting Durant, as it’s hardly a major market the way New York, Los Angeles or Chicago are, but they have a special trick up their sleeve that makes them an early favorite to land Durant — he’s a hometown kid who grew up in the Washington D.C. area.
According to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com, the Wizards declining the $10 million contract demand for Trevor Ariza was that they want to keep as much future cap space open as possible to make a run at Kevin Durant.
"Persons with knowledge of the situation told CSNWashington.com that he wanted $10 million and the Wizards wouldn’t budge because they have an eye toward 2016 free agency and wanted to keep flexibility with the salary cap. In other words, Kevin Durant."
LeBron choosing to leave an amazing situation in Miami with the Heat because he was home-sick for the Cleveland Cavaliers is massively encouraging to Wizards fans hoping Durant comes out East and makes Washington into a basketball mecca. It’s still a long shot, but the closer we get to Durant’s free agency and the more the Thunder struggle to win titles, the more likely it seems that Durant will attempt to get his first ring with his hometown team starting in 2016.
Stay glued to FanSided.com and our NBA Rumors page to stay up to date on the latest news and whispers from the world of NBA Free Agency.