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Translating Durant's comments on Aldridge's decision to join Spurs

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Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

If the NBA has taught us anything over the past two years, it's that you really can go home again. Last year, LeBron James walked away from an incredible situation in Miami so he could try to help bring a championship back to Cleveland. This year, LaMarcus Aldridge kept the trend going by walking away from guaranteed money in Portland so he could return to his home state of Texas.

Now, as you may know, there's been some speculation that another high-profile free agent could make it three in a row next season. As we've documented time and time again on this site through the help of our handy Kevin Durant Translator, there's sufficient reason to think Kevin Durant is dropping subtle hints about his plans to join the Washington Wizards next summer. We've already seen him drop hints in commercials, Instagram messages, and interviews.

The latest evidence comes from comments he made over the weekend at the Orlando Summer League, when he was asked about LaMarcus Aldridge's decision to leave Portland. Here are the quotes, via ESPN's Royce Young:

"You could kind of tell once this whole thing started that he was trying to go somewhere else," Durant said. "But in those decisions, man, you've just got to respect the guy for making a decision that was right for him. I know a lot of fans were probably upset in Portland with the decision. But at this point of your life and your career, you've got to focus on you. I said this last year when Mr. James made his decision, it was pretty cool to see a guy do what he wants to do and not worry about what everybody thinks."

Durant's free-agency decision looms next summer. With all the attention Aldridge got, has Durant let his mind run to wonder what it will be like for him?

"No, I haven't thought about it," he said. "I hear it all the time, but I really am just focusing on rehab. I can't get there unless I take care of today. That's the way I look at it even though I hear it from every side, thinking past to next summer. But I'm not even trying to focus on that."

On the surface, these comments seem slightly passive-aggressive at best, but once you peel off the layer Kevin Durant is trying to show the world, his true motives become clear. The parts in bold have been uncovered by our translator.

"You could kind of tell once this whole thing started that he was trying to go somewhere else, somewhere closer to home where he could be a basketball star AND develop a network through his family and friends that will allow him to wield significant social and political power. But in those decisions, man, you've just got to respect the guy for making a decision that was right for him, and not letting that smooth-talking Fred Armisen talk him into being Damian Lillard's sidekick for the next five seasons. I know a lot of fans were probably upset in Portland with the decision. Then again, people in Portland get upset when it doesn't rain enough, so who cares what they think. But at this point of your life and your career, you've got to focus on you. And let's not forget, just like LaMarcus Aldridge, I'll be an nine year veteran sharing the spotlight with a flashy point guard in a small market far away from home when I hit free agency next summer. So I'll definitely be focusing on me next summer as well. I said this last year when Mr. James made his decision, it was pretty cool to see a guy do what he wants to do and not worry about what everybody thinks. I'm repeating it now because I want to make it clear that leaving to join your hometown team is a perfectly normal and justifiable thing to do and that I'm not going to lose an ounce of sleep in my luxurious bed in D.C. because some haters in Oklahoma City are mad I left."

Durant's free-agency decision looms next summer. With all the attention Aldridge got, has Durant let his mind run to wonder what it will be like for him?

"No, I haven't thought about it, since I already know what I'm doing next summer," he said. "I hear it all the time, especially since I'm an avid reader of Bullets Forever, but I really am just focusing on rehab and getting ready for the 2016-17 season. I can't get there unless I take care of today. That's the way I look at it even though I hear it from every side, thinking past to next summer, including from my good friend and new Wizard Kelly Oubre. But I'm not even trying to focus on that. Kelly still has a lot of work to do to make sure he's ready for my arrival, and I have to get through this season without getting hurt again. We've all got plenty to work on right now."

"Also, did you see the Thunder are trying to keep me around by betting on Enes Kanter, Dion Waiters and Kyle Singler? LOLOLOLOL."

So there you have it. Not surprising to those of us who have seen the KD Translator at work before, but still quite eye-opening.