The future of Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant remains very much up in the air as NBA free agency approaches. But in recent weeks following a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered during the NBA Finals, there was some belief that he’d remain with the Warriors. Now, it appears that script may be on the verge of flipping.
According to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, Durant is not happy with the Warriors and how the situation with his injury played out.
… But the indication from several league sources is that Durant is not happy with the team, and the presumption is that it stems from whatever role Warriors officials played in his decision to suit up. Coach Steve Kerr says he was told Durant could not further injure himself by playing, which obviously proved not to be true. If Durant was told the same, it would give credence to the notion that, as one league executive claims, “He’s really pissed off at the Warriors.”
This took an ugly turn very quickly, assuming this report is true. It also couldn’t come at a worse time, as free agency begins at the end of the week and Durant is still expected to draw plenty of attention from teams.
But while KD’s reported frustration with the Warriors is bad news for the team, it also points to a very positive outlook for the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks for a number of reasons.
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The Kyrie Irving Impact on Kevin Durant’s Free Agency
It’s long been believed that Durant and Kyrie Irving want to play together and team up in NBA free agency. There was some question about whether Durant’s injury, which will likely hold him out for the entire 2019-20 NBA season, would impact that at all. It’s unknown how the actual interest from teams in Durant looks currently, but recent chatter points to multiple top options still hoping to sign him.
In the same report by Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, he reveals that Durant and Irving met twice as of late to discuss their future and interest in playing together.
Durant and Irving, league sources say, have met twice in recent weeks to discuss their desire to continue their careers on the same team, an idea forged while playing together on the U.S. national team.
Pair this with the recent (and popular) belief that the Nets are the likely destination for Irving, and it could point Durant to Brooklyn as well. Per Yahoo Sports, former NBA player Kendrick Perkins cited sources who also said the Nets are front-runners to sign Durant.
“I think the Nets are the front-runner to land KD,” Perkins told ESPN. “I think they’re the front-runner – I absolutely do.
“I’m not ruling out the Knicks, but I think the Nets are the front-runners and people are not giving them their [respect]. Sources tell me that the Nets are the front-runner – we’ll leave it at that.”
The Nets are making waves currently, but obviously, nothing is set in stone, and the Knicks are bound to make an all-out push for both Durant and Irving.
What About the Knicks Signing Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving?
It seems like just yesterday that all the talk was surrounding Durant and Irving joining the Knicks and helping to turn the franchise around together. While that’s still very much a possibility, the chatter involving Durant’s frustration with the Warriors could be a huge step towards making this a two-team race.
If that proves to be the case, the Knicks may be among the biggest winners, as it would increase their chances to have a realistic shot at landing both All-Stars. With that said, it’s going to take quite a bit of recruitment from both teams in order to lure Durant to town, especially with the likelihood that the Warriors will do their best to remain in the mix.
Free agency is bound to send us on a few twists and turns, but there may be no bigger question mark at this point than Durant’s future.