Former NBA guard Jalen Rose has already made waves leading up to the 2013-2014 season when, earlier in the summer, he predicted that Michael Jordan would return to play one game for the Charlotte Bobcats this season. Rose and Bill Simmons have been previewing the upcoming season for Grantland and that has included many predictions from both, but Rose’s certainly have been the bolder of the two.
On Wednesday as a sneak peak of the Houston Rockets preview from Grantland hit YouTube, Rose dropped another bombshell prediction, this time involving the core of the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the segment, Rose predicts that both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, when they become free agents, will leave the Thunder. Rose added that he believes Durant will end up with Houston with former Thunder teammate James Harden and that Westbrook will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
As pointed out in the video, Rose has shown that he know about the goings-on in the NBA and particularly the Thunder as he correctly predicted that Harden would be traded by OKC about one week prior to the deal actually going down. However, both Durant and Westbrook leaving is a much bolder prediction that is way more catastrophic for Oklahoma City.
If Rose’s prediction does come to fruition, it won’t be for a while. Durant doesn’t become a free-agent until after the 2015-2016 NBA season while Westbrook has to wait until after the 2016-2017 season for his free agency to kick in. We aren’t talking about something that’s going to happen after this season, but that doesn’t change the potential impact both players leaving would have on this team.
Rose brings up the fact that Durant went to college in Texas and Westbrook went to college in L.A. as reasons to why they’ll leave, as well as going to play with players that they’re friends with. There’s obviously more factors that would have to be weighed for such a large decision, but it does raise some intrigue. We’ll have to wait a while to see if Rose is correct; but if he is, it would indubitably shake up the landscape of the NBA.