Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant did his best to help the two-time defending champs avoid elimination Monday night against the Toronto Raptors.
Sadly for Durant and the rest of his team, it sure looks like the MVP’s push to get back on the court will impact him big time.
Durant pulled up lame early in the second quarter with an injury to the very same leg that has cost him the past month of the playoffs. The Warriors now believe that an MRI on Tuesday will confirm a torn Achilles.
While Golden State remains alive in the NBA Finals heading back to Oakand for Game 6, Durant’s future has now been turned upside down.
The reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP is set to hit free agency at a time when he’s expected to miss the entire 2019-20 campaign to injury. Most figured this would impact him once July comes calling.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks spoke to multiple NBA teams who indicate that their opinion of Durant has not changed.
“I said … If you had cap space, would you go out and sign Kevin Durant knowing that he will likely be out maybe the whole year? And the resounding answer was ‘yes.’ Each of the teams also said that they wouldn’t even put any injury language in there for maybe years three and four to protect,” Marks said. “So, yes, there will be a marketplace for Kevin Durant this summer, either with a team for four years, $141 million dollars or even back in Golden State here.”
If Durant is indeed forced to sit out the 2019-20 campaign, he would not be returning until his age-32 season. Unfortunately, an Achilles injury of this severity has also derailed many careers in the past.
It seems harsh to say. But adding Durant on a four-year deal without any protections would be a high-risk proposition.
There also seems to be this sentiment that Golden State shouldn’t even think twice about still offering KD the super-max contract. That would pay Durant $221 million over five seasons.
Among the teams interested in Durant, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could hypothetically be two of those mentioned in Marks’ report. Though, the NBA insider did not mention the teams by name.