Now that LeBron James has made decision 2.0 and returned home to Cleveland, attention has turned to Kevin Durant and his impending free agency in the summer of 2016.
There's been article, upon article, upon article on Durant coming home to the Wizards. But outside of staying in OKC or going east to Washington has a dark horse arisen in the pursuit of the NBA's reigning MVP?
The Toronto Raptors not only project to have max cap space and feature Durant's former high school teammate and friend Greivis Vasquez, but they also have Drake.
Yes Mr. Champagnepapi himself could be the key to getting Durant to suit up north of the border (at least that's your hope as a Raptors fan).
At OVO fest in Toronto, Drake used the crowd to begin the recruitment of Durant.
Watch the video here: (warning: the video contains an expletive just before it ends)
Now on the surface there's nothing wrong this. Drake is a native of Toronto and who wouldn't want to see one of the best players in the World suit up for their hometown team.
But here's the rub. Drake does more for than Raptors than act as a courtside cheerleader. In the team's media guide he's listed as their “Global Brand Ambassador,” which includes the following job description:
The Toronto native and Raptors season seat holder will assist the team with a number of marketing and basketball initiatives in an effort to raise the team's profile.
But in making this public recruitment pitch Drake is also tampering according to the NBA's Bi-Law's.
An employee of an NBA team can't permissibly “induce, persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any Player who is under contract to, or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by, any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiate or contract for such services.”And to whom does that restriction apply? “To Members and Owners; to Officers, Managers, Coaches, and other employees, agents or representatives of a Member or Owner.”
Chances are that nothing comes of this. Tampering rules are hard to prove and rarely enforced. If Durant chose to joint the Raptors nothing would be the same, because he would be the best Toronto has ever had.
Not saying this is likely but if it does come to fruition, you can thank me later.