The Washington Wizards were once considered favorites to land Kevin Durant, when the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar becomes a free agent this summer.
But according to NBA analyst Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops, the Wizards and their fans should bid goodbye to their hopes of seeing Durant return and play for his hometown team.
The Wizards were on an upward trajectory over the past few seasons, and most analysts believed signing Durant will make them one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference. But after failing to reach the playoffs this season, Scotto said the Durant-to-Washington scenario is now out of the picture.
"The Durant Dream is all but dead in Washington, and we are about to see the fallout commence," Scotto said. "Randy Wittman is probably going to lose his job. Ernie Grunfeld might lose his. John Wall is going to be the best point guard in the NBA watching Game 1 of the playoffs on his sofa."
The Wizards, who reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in the last two seasons, are currently 10th in the East with their 40-41 record, heading into their final game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
Scotto added that it will also be hard for the Wizards to land another top talent this summer despite the fact that they have one of the best backcourt tandems in the league in Wall and Bradley Beal.
The Wizards will have the cap space, but it will not matter as most teams will also have enough room since the salary is expected to increase to at least $90 million this summer.
As for Durant, Scotto thinks the former NBA Most Valuable Player will likely sign a two-year deal this summer with an option to become a free agent again in 2017, when he will have a chance to team up again with Russell Westbrook elsewhere. He added that Durant could also leave if the Thunder suffer an early playoff exit this season.