NBA Betting: Can We Expect Durant to Return in Full Shape to Contend Next Season?

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 11:11 AM GMT

KD is rehabbing a third surgery on his right foot and can't wait to get back on the court. The question will be "Will Durant's foot be able to handle the stress of an 82 game schedule and will he be the same player?"

Time Off, Time To Think, Time To Rehab
Kevin Durant has stated that he just wants to get back on the court as he got to see Russell Westbrook be "the man" on the Thunder and a lot of people have put Westbrook past Durant as far as being the leader of the Thunder. Right now, Durant can only focus on getting back on the court, making cuts, and not re-injuring his foot. Remember, free agency is lurking next year and there's a possibility that KD might either go to the highest bidder or go back home to Washington D.C. with the Wizards to play basketball.

Right now, Durant isn't able to run and after wearing a walking boot, has mentioned that he's gained weight and needs to lose it. Word has it that the weight is quite visible, but that's okay as this is a man that's always needed to concentrate on weight. He has had time get in the weight room and bulk up. Remember, when he was a rookie, he couldn't bench press 175 pounds. This is a feat that the average Joe off the street can do. One thing for sure and that's his playing ability and ability to shoot from beyond the arc. People are so concentrated on Stephen Curry being the best shooter of all time, but Kevin Durant is one of the best shooters of all-time and he has a good 7 inches on Curry.

 

Co-Existing With Westbrook
I don't see a problem with this. Durant and Westbrook formed one of the best 1-2 punches in the game before either of these players got injured. The only issue might be is will Westbrook tone down his game, cut down on the triple-doubles and let Durant get back into the groove as the point guard is the facilitator that makes things happen. This remains to be seen.

The Thunder finished the season at 45-37 and 2nd to Portland in the division. This should change as LaMarcus Aldridge has decided to take his talents to San Antonio. This could be a great move for Aldridge but he's getting to play with each Spurs veteran as they are a year older. Also, his numbers will go down as Gregg Popovich doesn't care about statistics regarding players.

 

Possible Cut Down In Minutes
Durant's minutes could possibly drop by a few as the Thunder look to keep him healthy. They've drafted Dakari Johnson in the 2nd round and also have a whole host of big men such as a much improved Serge Ibaka also coming back from injury, Mitch McGary, and Enes Kanter as it looks like he'll remain in OKC. This means there will be less pressure on Durant.

I expect to see a drop in his point production but not talent. This is one of the greatest shooting big men in the game's history and due to his absence, people simply forgot about him. The Thunder should be right there in contention for the title and it will be interesting to see if Durant's foot can handle the up and down action of a shootout with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. You can bet that he won't be in the paint getting pushed around by Draymond Green. 

Really, the 2 questions are can he stay healthy and the other question is for next year in free agency, but as for now, Kevin Durant is on track to be back in a Oklahoma Thunder uniform for the 2015-2016 season and I don't expect a dropoff in his game, so I might just back him and the Thunder next season with my NBA picks.