The conventional wisdom on the free-agent move of Kevin Durant from the two-man show in Oklahoma City to the cavalcade of stars in Golden State was that Durant had sacrificed individual accomplishment in favor of team glory. Playing with the likes of two-time defending MVP Stephen Curry, plus All-Stars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson would, the thinking went, dry up Durant’s personal opportunities. He might be a shoo-in to play in the NBA Finals, but he could forget about winning the league’s MVP trophy.
Seven weeks into the season, Durant still looks like a Finals shoo-in. But conventional wisdom was wrong on his individual prospects. Despite gaudy numbers from two of his former teammates — Russell Westbrook and James Harden — and others, Durant is not just worthy of MVP consideration. It could be argued that he is having the best year of his career.
Far from tamping down his greatness as a player, joining the Warriors and their share-the-love offense has boosted Durant’s production, highlighting his efficiency. It’s also allowed him to be a more versatile player whose combination of skill and size make him Exhibit A in the evolution of the league away from traditional positions, and he has made the most of his unique abilities on both ends of the floor.