© Kyle Terada | 2019 Jun 10
After losing in the 2019 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors face an offseason full of more uncertainties and tough decisions than any offseason in recent memory. One of the largest of those uncertainties lies with Kevin Durant, the team’s All-Star small forward who has been the Finals MVP for the last two championships.
Durant’s pending free agency has been a hot topic throughout the NBA season, but that conversation changed when he ruptured his Achillies tendon during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. On the morning of Tuesday, June 18, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic stopped by the Murph & Mac show and discussed Durant’s pending free agency.
“I feel like the situation favors the Warriors, but, maybe he’s hot at how they handled the whole situation and is like ‘I’m not really rocking with them anymore,'” Thompson said. “I just feel like it’s gonna be a tough call, it’s gonna be tough to sit in front of this dude and impress him in a manner in a way that makes him say ‘yeah this is what I was looking for, not the Warriors.'”
Thompson also talked about the potential difficulties for another team landing Durant, and how the offseason plans of the New York Knicks appear to have gone awry.
“I don’t even know who has that offer or ability to sit down, maybe the Clippers with Kawhi (Leonard), maybe that situation is impressive enough. I don’t know, the Knicks, look at how it’s working out for the Knicks. None of this stuff is working out well for the Knicks. I don’t know what the situation is that makes him say, ‘Okay, yeah this is better than the Warriors,'” Thompson said.
Thompson then discussed how Durant is in a unique situation because of his injury.
“It seems to feel like, when he’s analyzing what’s best for him, staying with the Warriors makes the most sense, especially given the injury,” Thompson continued. “But if he said ‘Nah I really don’t like how they handled that, I’m still pissed about it, yeah I’m gonna go somewhere else’ would anybody be surprised? We’d probably be like ‘Yeah, I understand that KD, I got it.'”
Kevin Durant has a player-option with the Warriors for next season, which he can opt into and earn $31,500,000, but ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that doing so would be a “last resort” for Durant. He can also opt out of his contract and test free agency this offseason. If he opts out of his contract, the Golden State Warriors can offer him a 5-year supermax contract worth approximately $221,000,000, and any other team can offer him a max contract for four years and approximately $164,000,000.
Durant is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 NBA season while recovering after rupturing his Achilles tendon.
Listen to the full interview with Marcus Thompson below. To hear him discuss Kevin Durant, start from 7:00.