Kevin Durant sat at the press conference table with Russell Westbrook by his side, the two friends and teammates trying to get their minds around letting a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals slip away.

It didn’t take long for Durant to face a question about his future in Oklahoma City.

“We just lost like 30 minutes ago so I haven’t even thought about it,” Durant said Monday night after a Game 7 loss to the Golden State Warriors ended the Thunder’s season. “I’ll think about that stuff, I don’t know when. But we just lost, so I don’t know.”

While it may have been too soon for Durant to think about his long-term future, the question has loomed over the franchise for more than a year. Durant will become a free agent on July 1 and be the most coveted player on the market.

The way the Thunder and other teams performed in the playoffs this spring could go a long way toward whether star free agents stay home or seek bigger money or a perceived better chance of winning elsewhere.

DeMar DeRozan of Toronto, Al Horford of Atlanta, Memphis point guard Mike Conley and Dwight Howard of Houston are among those who figure to become free agents this summer when the NBA’s new television deal will kick in. Every team in the league will have major salary-cap space, which could turn a solid free-agent crop into a feeding frenzy as executives try to get a handle on a new normal for player salaries.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki are among others who can become free agents by exercising player option’s in their contracts. But all three are expected to stay with their teams


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