Kevin Durant will be on the first thing smoking out of Oklahoma City the second he becomes a free agent, and Oklahoma City's new NBA franchise can forget about luring any quality players on the open market to replace him. How many times have you heard or read those sentiments over the past week? It's what the national naysayers want you to believe, and of course it's all nonsense and the naysayers are nitwits. Not all NBA players are searching for big cities and bright lights. Ask small market franchises in Salt Lake City and Memphis and Sacramento and Milwaukee and Indianapolis and New Orleans about their recent history with free agents. When Charlotte became a first-time major league city in 1988 with the Hornets — a widely criticized expansion city at the time — All-Stars Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning had more problems playing with each other in the early 1990s than in their host city. Oklahoma City will be fine. Three things generally entice players into signing with a franchise and committing to a city: Money, acceptance and winning. "You've got players interested in New Orleans for one reason,” said one former NBA coach, "because they can play with Chris Paul. So if (Oklahoma City) starts doing good, that's what attracts free agents. "Because what do you do during the season anyway? Go to practice, play and travel. And when you're an NBA player and you have money you go to your off-season home, your hometown or on a cruise for month and a half.” That's the winning end of it. "I think it's going to be kind of easy,” Jeff Green said of the franchise's ability to recruit and retain free agents. "When you hear about when the Hornets were there, the reaction that the fans gave, it's nothing but positive things. And that's what a player looks for going into a new city, seeing how the fans react and how the community reacts. "So just the excitement of the fans and the atmosphere is always a plus. And that's one of the good things I've been hearing about Oklahoma, and I feel like that will attract a lot of good players.” That's the acceptance end of it.. Now comes the money end and the all-so important provision in the NBA collective bargaining agreement that allows teams to outbid the opposition and exceed the salary cap to retain their own free agents. Vince Carter was supposed to flee Canada the moment his rookie deal was up after the 2000-2001 season. Instead, he signed a six-year contract extension worth a reported $94 million. Chris Webber also was expected to bolt Sacramento the first chance he could after his trade from Washington in 1998. Funny how his heart changed the moment the Kings threw him a six-year, $123 million contract offer. Michael Redd re-upped in Milwaukee in 2005 for six years and $91 million. The Columbus, Ohio, native and former Ohio State standout turned down a chance to join LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers because he would have had to turn down $20 million. Maurice Williams spurned South Beach in 2007 and an opportunity to team with Miami's Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade to re-sign with the Bucks. Milwaukee, with a six-year, $52 million deal, offered Williams about $21 million more than Miami could due to salary cap constraints. And Peja Stojakovic is a reminder that $64 million will make a player bounce between two small markets so long as the price is right. Of course, Oklahoma City's owners have to pony up for players and its fans have to show up and support. But this city's NBA franchise is well positioned to be a player. The team has already shown interest in Utah guard C.J. Miles, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Miles, 21, is a restricted free agent, meaning the Jazz can match any offer and retain him. Miles is set to earn $1.2 million next season if no other team offers him a contract. Miles, who Utah selected with the 34th overall pick out of Dallas' Skyline High in 2005, has career averages of 4.0 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 10.5 minutesin 120 games. "I feel good about our situation. I feel good about the direction we're going in,” said general manager Sam Presti. "I've gotten really positive feedback from players and agents about the opportunities here. So we don't feel as if we have to do anything above and beyond.” Presti has the necessary salary cap room, the attractive budding star in Durant and a fan base that has proved it will back whoever laces them up and takes the Ford Center floor. Don't listen to the naysayers.