Kevin Durant is likely to miss the majority of the 2019-20 season, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Durant joined Kyrie Irving in signing with the Nets, but KD may not see the floor for the entire season. The All-Star had surgery during the NBA finals to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered during the title series. Durant posted an update via Instagram after the surgery.
“What’s good everybody I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success,” Durant said, per ESPN in a now deleted post.
According to Bleacher Report, the perception around the league is that Durant was “not happy” with the Warriors over how they handled the injury situation.
Questions that linger over whether the strained calf led to the Achilles injury, and if the Golden State Warriors made him aware of that possibility, remain unanswered. 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.”
No NBA Player Has Returned Sooner Than 7 Months After Suffering an Achilles Rupture
How long will Durant be out? No NBA player with an Achilles rupture has returned quicker than 7 1/2 months, per ESPN. The best case scenario for Durant appears to be a January return with a good chance it extends longer as ESPN detailed.
A 7 ½-month rehab would put Durant’s return near the end of January. Conversely, other players have taken closer to a year to come back. The Warriors opted to handle Cousins’ rehab conservatively, and he missed a week short of a full year before debuting for Golden State in January. Brandon Jennings, whose Achilles rupture occurred a month and a half before Matthews had the same injury, didn’t return until nearly New Year’s Day, more than 11 months after the injury.
The longer timeline for Durant’s return would keep him out for the entire 2019-20 regular season, an outcome he must weigh heading into possible free agency.
The Knicks Declined to Offer Durant a Max Deal Because of Injury Concerns
ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne reported that the Knicks did not offer Durant a max deal because of injury concerns. This explains why the Knicks were in Los Angeles as Durant was expected to host teams in New York when free agency began.
“The Knicks and owner Jim Dolan were not prepared to offer Kevin Durant a full max contract due to concerns over his recovery from the Achilles injury, league sources tell me and @wojespn. Knicks officials are in Los Angeles tonight, meeting with free agents such as Julius Randle,” Shelbourne tweeted.
It is hard to know if this was the Knicks way of telling fans they broke up with Durant, not the other way around. Given Durant did not meet with the Knicks, it is difficult to tell how much they were in play during the final stages.