In the aftermath of the Golden State Warriors’ doomed Finals three-peat campaign against the Toronto Raptors which began late last May, one of the defeated champion team’s pillars of power has been considering his future. Kevin Durant had turned down his $31.5 million option with the team to become an unrestricted free agent, with potential offers from many an NBA team looking to beef up their rosters with his addition. That is quite the feat especially since Durant is still recovering from his Finals injury. But the 30-year-old was not going to keep quiet long. He made his momentous announcement on social media this Sunday.
The New York Times reports that Kevin Durant has made his choice to go with the Brooklyn Nets next season, after leaving the Golden State Warriors. This was made known on the basketball Instagram page “theboardroom,” in a stylized text announcement with the late Notorious B.I.G rapping in the background. It stated that the Nets have, as expected offered the veteran Seattle Sonic/OKC Thunder, and now-departing Warrior a max deal, with Durant waiting to sign on that by this Saturday, July 6, at the end of the free agent moratorium.
Signing on Durant was one of the top priority dreams of Brooklyn in their preparations for the next NBA season. To achieve that they had to go against Golden State’s own massive max contract re-signing worth $221 million for five years, which would set the player for all the time he needs to mend. The L.A. Clippers also made their own max-deal pitch, while the New York Knicks had only an expression of interest at best. Durant’s departure will have a massive impact on the Warriors’ competitive strength, despite their retaining the rest of the top players in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Of course, even though Kevin Durant’s move to the Brooklyn Nets seems good as done, the team also must accept the near certainty that they won’t be able to make use of one of the NBA’s top players today for much of next season, if at all. The Achilles tendon injury he sustained in an ultimately futile Finals Game 5 win for Golden State has a probability of not recovering completely, which would affect Durant’s lifetime playing skills. The Warriors have been under lots of scrutiny following their decision to field Durant during the Finals. He stands to spend Season 2019-20 on the sidelines, mending.
Aside from Durant, the Nets also made good on their bids to sign on other free agents, namely DeAndre Jordan from the Knicks, and Kyrie Irving from the Boston Celtics. These additions look to bolster the team’s chances of stealing some lightning from the Knicks, seeing as both of them are based in New York.
Image courtesy of ABC7 NY