Simple question, do you think that Kevin Durant is an elite defender?
Let's go over some numbers for those of you inclined to say that he's not:
We'll go with elementary statistics first. KD currently averages 1.6 steals per game. To compare to some other wings... Lebron averages 1.7, Tony Allen averages 1.7, and Metta World Peace averages 1.8. It's widely accepted that these players are some of the elite perimeter defenders in the entire NBA. KD's 1.6 currently outdoes other elite wing defenders such as Andre Iguodala, Nicolas Batum, and Kobe Bryant (he's not elite, but I threw him in there for Kobe fans' ego's sake).
Now, let's look at KD's blocks per game. He currently averages 1.2 blocks per game. Nothing to boast about, but then lets look at that compared to the same players that he competes with in steals:
MWP - 0.6
Lebron - 0.8
George - 0.7
Batum - 1.1
I'll stop there because there's an obvious trend... None stack up to KD's total except for Batum (although he is outdone by KD in both). In other words, KD is one of the few in the NBA averaging 1 of each stat (blocks AND steals) per game. Here's the short list of those players, all of who are viewed as above average to elite defenders:
Alright, those stats are relatively irrelevant anyway, so on to the ones that matter.
Kevin Durant currently ranks #8 in defensive win shares on the season. Every single player other than Paul George who is above him on this list is a big man, and the names include elite defenders such as Tim Duncan and Joakim Noah.
Kevin Durant currently owns a defensive rating of 101. For comparison's sake, Lebron James currently has a defensive rating of 102, while Kobe's weighs in at 108.
All of these stats/comparisons can be done here.
I can jump to 82games.com and grab some more, but I'm tired for now.
So, do you feel that Kevin Durant is an elite defender in the NBA?