© Troy Taormina | 2019 May 6
Throughout the duration of the 2018-2019 NBA season, Kevin Durant’s free agency might have been the most talked about topic in all of sports. Following his Achilles tear during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the talk has only amplified.
On Monday morning, Bleacher Report’s senior writer, Ric Bucher, reported that Durant is ‘really pissed off at the Warriors’, following his Achilles injury, and their handling of the calf injury that preceded it.
Warriors beat writer, Anthony Slater of The Athletic, joined the Murph & Mac show Tuesday morning to discuss what he has heard regarding the situation, and acknowledged Durant’s media silence could make it hard to interpret how he is really feeling.
“I heard that has been overblown,” Slater said of Bucher’s report. “But you know the one thing with Kevin is he really has gone underground since the injury happened. He didn’t speak to the media during the finals at all.
“He goes to New York, gets the surgery, now he’s been kind of underground a little bit. You know he talks to some people behind the scenes a little bit, but he has not given any indication or any interviews about how he truly feels about how all that went down.”
One advantage the Warriors have that Slater noted, is the ability to offer Durant $57 million and one year more than any other team.
“I think right now he’s kind of having an internal debate with himself about that fifth year. To me, that is kind of the greatest carrot the Warriors have. The best recruiting advantage. Because that is a $57 million and one-year difference.”
However, there is a chance that even with the extra $57 million and one year, Durant elects to sign elsewhere. Slater brought up his opinion on the matter.
“To me, I think his preference would be to leave. But he would be leaving a lot of money and a lot of long-term security on the table.”
Durant isn’t the only Warriors player that is headed towards free agency. Klay Thompson’s contract is also up, but Slater sees that situation being easier to decipher.
“Yeah, they just have to put the full max on the table, which they will. (The Warriors) got a little bit of a break with Klay not making All-NBA. Basically took $30 million away over the life span of that five-year deal. So yeah, I expect them to put the max on the table, and he’ll sign. I think that’ll be one you’ll probably hear very early, in theory.”
Listen to the full interview with Anthony Slater. To hear him discuss Kevin Durant, start from 4:00.