As fate would have it, the two Warriors stars that are slated to hit free agency next season both sustained debilitating injuries in what was a truly bizarre NBA Finals. Now Golden State must look to the future, and decide what to do with both players.
The respective situations are slightly different. Durant has a player option for next season, but is expected to decline it and hit unrestricted free agency. His torn Achilles will almost certainly keep him on the shelf for all of next season.
Thompson’s situation is a little more straight forward. He’s due to become an unrestricted free agent, but will miss at least half the season as he recovers from a torn ACL.
During their first availability of the postseason, both general manager Bob Myers and head coach Steve Kerr talked about the players’ futures.
“Well the injury kind of throws everything for a loop,” Kerr said about KD. “So I have no idea what Kevin’s going to do. I know that we all want him back. We think this is a great situation for him and vice versa. So hopefully we get him back and keep this thing going, with the understanding that he’s a free agent and he’s free to make any choice he wants.
“So hopefully he’s back, and we will give him any advice, any counsel that he needs, and ultimately he’s going to make his own decision and he’s earned that.”
“We value those guys at the highest level,” Myers said about both players. “I wouldn’t be a very good GM if I didn’t understand how valuable they are to our own team. It sometimes gets lost but I think when Kevin plays in the NBA Finals we’ve gone 9-1, I don’t know what else matters. And Klay… they’re both fantastic. Those are guys you do everything you can to keep within your organization.
“Those guys are highly important to us and deserving of being rewarded in the right manner… It’s hard to find high-quality people and both of them are that. So you try to keep those guys within these walls as best you can.
The Warriors are expected to offer five-year max deals to both players, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“Those two decisions would put their payroll, including luxury taxes, over $350 million,” Windhorst said. “And they’re going to be able to pay for it because they’re going to move across the Bay to a cash-cow arena, which is going to increase their team revenue enough to pay for it.”