Should Golden State Be Durant’s Free Agent Choice if Kyrie Signs Elsewhere?
For the first time in five years the Golden State Warriors find themselves in uncharted territory after losing not only the NBA Finals, but both Klay Thomson and Kevin Durant to significant injuries as well. Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles tendon in game five, and Klay Thompson tore his left ACL in game six that ultimately led to the Warriors defeat.
Both superstar free agents are eligible for max contracts this summer, although both Durant and Thompson will miss most or all the 2019-2020 season. Klay Thompson is pretty much considered a slam dunk to resign with the Warriors on a five year deal worth $190 million, while speculation around Durant’s free agency intentions are still looming.
Durant’s potential career altering injury won’t keep NBA GM’s from offering him a max contract, which gives the two-time finals MVP the flexibility to play where he wants when he is ready to return to the hardwood. The Warriors can offer Durant the most money ($220 million over five seasons) once free agency begins on June 30th. Rumors strongly suggest that Durant is on his way to New York to play with Kyrie Irving. Ric Bucher recently reported that Irving and Durant met recently to “continue to discuss playing together “and indicated that Durant has already decided to stay in New York for the “foreseeable future”.
Kyrie has been tied to Durant all season about potentially joining forces. Recent reports speculate that Kyrie is strongly considering joining the Brooklyn Nets, but also wouldn’t mind playing alongside Anthony Davis in Los Angeles. There’s been no indication that Durant would be willing to go to Brooklyn and the two-time finals MVP won’t be playing alongside Lebron in LA, so does that make Golden State the frontrunner if Kyrie signs elsewhere?
The Golden State Warriors can offer Durant the most money in free agency and they also offer Durant the best chance to win. The Lakers just acquired Anthony Davis and will continue to improve in free agency. If Kyrie and Durant decide not to join forces, the best destinations for Durant that could compete with the Lakers would be the Clippers (If they sign Kawhi Leonard) and the Warriors.
It has been assumed all season that Durant would leave the Warriors this offseason to continue to build his legacy. With another super team forming in Los Angeles it may be smarter for Durant to stay put and compete for more championships.
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