The Golden State Warriors might need to do some damage control before trying to bring back one of their own.
There’s a chance Kevin Durant’s final moment in a Warriors uniform is one he’d certainly like to forget: suffering a ruptured Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Serious injuries can happen at any moment, but there’s growing belief Durant was rushed back to the court after sustaining a calf strain in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. In fact, KD and Golden State still might be at odds over how the situation was handled.
“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,” Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher writes. “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.'”
The Achilles injury adds an unfortunate twist to Durant’s impending free agency, as the two-time Finals MVP is likely to miss the entire 2019-20 campaign. Expectations and recommendations for KD’s decision have been all over the map, including joining forces with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn or maybe even a sign-and-trade with the Warriors. It doesn’t appear Durant will leave any stone unturned either, as a league executive tells Bucher the 30-year-old will “change his mind at least 25 times” before actually putting pen to paper.
It probably shouldn’t be viewed as doomsday for the Warriors if they’re unable to re-sign Durant. All signs point to Klay Thompson re-upping in Golden State, and both Stephen Curry and Draymond Green still are in the fold. But as the Western Conference continues to grow stronger, it’s in the Dubs’ best interest to try and patch things up with KD.