Things could get pretty crazy in the NBA once free agency begins, this much we know.
But just how crazy could it get? Well, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst shared some pretty fascinating info Thursday morning on “Get Up!”
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, as you probably know by now, suffered an Achilles injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals earlier this month, putting him in jeopardy of missing the entirety of the upcoming campaign. The expectation had been that Durant would opt out of the last year of his contract with the Warriors, then sign a new deal (either in Golden State or elsewhere). Obviously, that injury led many to believe that it would put a damper in Durant’s plans.
But Windhorst said Thursday that the Warriors, possibly out of guilt, could offer Durant a five-year deal, let him rehab next season, then trade him in the offseason.
“So, the Durant situation is still in flux,” Windhorst said. “One of the things that is being discussed right now is that the Golden State Warriors would offer Kevin Durant a five-year contract, $57 million extra than he can get signing elsewhere, let him rehab and then work with him to be traded, potentially to New York, potentially to somewhere else. It would be their way to sort of take care of him monetarily after what he just went through and also protect the franchise to some assets. If that happens, the Knicks would be in tremendous position to get back into it because they’re going to have some of these young assets plus cap space.
Windhorst later added: “For the lack of a better term, it would be a delayed sign-and-trade, because this is the only way Durant can get five years and play elsewhere. And I’ll just be honest with you, the Warriors going to this is a bit of a last-ditch effort to not lose Kevin Durant for nothing. And what he would get out of it would be an extra 57 million coming off of a devastating injury. He would be protected and get all of his money. Now, you have to trust the Warriors that they’d actually work with you in a trade, but it’s something that’s at least been discussed as an option.”
As Windhorst mentions, this would be a somewhat nuclear move by the Warriors, and could end up getting a little messy this time next year. But, such a thing could be mutually beneficial, so even though it might sound a little crazy at first blush, it’s understandable why Golden State might consider it.
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