Warriors star Kevin Durant can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could join the Knicks this summer took a hit when he suffered an Achilles injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Here's the latest...
June 12, 9:36 AM:
While many thought Durant opting in to the $31.5 million option with the Warriors for 2019-20 was likely in the wake of his Achilles injury, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday that it would be the "last resort."
"That's really if you couldn't find any other team to commit to you on a contract," Wojnarowski said, adding that he still thinks there will be a market for Durant to get a "max or near-max contract."
Wojnarowski noted that despite the injury, he still expects there to be a market for Durant, adding that if it came down to signing a two-year deal elsewhere (with the yearly salary starting around $38 million), Durant would rather do that than return to the Warriors on the one-year opt-in.
June 11, 2:24 AM:
Per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Warriors expect Tuesday's MRI to confirm a right Achilles tendon tear.
June 11, 12:13 AM:
Warriors GM Bob Myers announced after Game 5 that Durant has an Achilles injury. The extent is still unknown.
June 10, 10:55 PM:
Durant left Game 5 of the NBA Finals early in the second quarter with a lower leg injury. He will not return and will be scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday morning.
Durant, who returned to the court for the first time in a month due to a right calf strain, grabbed his right leg after he planted his foot. He was helped off the court and into the locker room with team medical staff and teammates.
He left Scotiabank Arena on crutches and with a walking boot on, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
Durant leaving Scotiabank Arena on crutches pic.twitter.com/eccyf5bB8f- Phil Barber (@Skinny_Post) June 11, 2019
In 12 minutes of play, he scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting and recorded two rebounds, one block and two fouls. The Warriors led Game 5 39-34 with 9:46 remaining in the second quarter at the time of Durant's injury.
June 10, 2:52 PM:
Durant is expected to be back out on the court for the Warriors in a do-or-die Game 5 on Monday night, per NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole. It is still a game-time decision, according to the team, but reports have since surfaced from Poole's original tweet that say Durant is going to suit up.
This will be the first time he plays since injuring his calf back in the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets. He was cleared to practice before tonight, and hasn't complained about the ailment during those sessions. While this is good news for the Warriors, who desperately need help down 3-1, it's also good news for the Knicks.
June 9, 5:37 PM:
Durant practiced on Sunday for the first time since suffering a right calf strain on May 8, however his status for Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors on Monday is questionable, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Durant, according to ESPN, had ice packs wrapped around his right Achilles and lower right calf on Sunday. Golden State, which is seeking its third consecutive championship, trails Toronto 3-1 in the series.
June 4, 7:55 PM:
According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, if his own report of Kyrie Irving preferring to go to the Nets is true, Durant may decide to stay in Golden State if they do not win the NBA Finals. Smith said Durant could still go to the Knicks without Irving, convince Irving to come or opt for somebody else such as Kemba Walker.
Smith, who said he had not spoken to Irving or Durant, had previously said there was a "95 percent" chance Irving and Durant will both join the Knicks, with the only hiccup being Durant changing his mind.
May 30, 12:37 PM:
As the Warriors head into Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight in Oakland, they will continue to be without Durant. And it looks like that will be the case for Game 2 as well.
Head coach Steve Kerr told Bleacher Report that it is a "long shot" he will be cleared for practice before Game 2. Durant is still dealing with his calf strain that he suffered during the Rockets series. As the Finals games go, Knicks fans will continue to watch to see if Durant actually makes an appearance.
May 25, 6:57 PM:
It can't be Durant alone.
So says Knicks legend Bernard King, who feels if Durant is going to join the Knicks he must bring a second superstar with him, or else he risks going through a Patrick Ewing-like era which ends without a championship.
"I think that given the fact they have space for two max contracts, he needs someone else to come along,'' King told the New York Post. "That's what you see around the league. Superstars playing together. Who that other player that would be -- Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard -- I don't know. But if (Durant) decides to play in New York, he needs another superstar beside him. That's what happened with Patrick. He had very good players in Charles Oakley and John Starks, but he didn't have another superstar to play with him."
May 25, 10:06 AM:
After three seasons and two NBA Finals titles with the Warriors, Durant still feels he is perceived as an outsider to the organization. The forward, who addressed reporters for the first time on Friday since his calf strain, took exception to the phrasing of a question about "their" play.
"Our play," Durant said. He was then asked about that perception of still being viewed as an outsider.
"It's been that way since I got here - the Warriors and KD," he said. "I understand that. I feel like my teammates and organization know exactly what I've done here on and off the floor to become part of the culture. I've stamped my flag on this culture and organization."
May 23, 2:34 PM:
Durant is unlikely to return for the beginning of the NBA Finals, but the Warriors hope to have him back before the Finals end, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
If the Warriors make quick work of whoever comes out of the Eastern Conference, it's possible we've seen the last of Durant in a Warriors uniform.
May 22, 1:20 PM:
As the ridiculous feud between Durant and reporter Chris Broussard drags on (with the two now arguing over whether they text), two Knicks players -- Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson -- have reacted.
Future teammates supporting KD. Gotta love it. pic.twitter.com/7MltWYMPmr- 🐲 (@KevKnoxBurner) May 22, 2019
May 21, 9:22 PM:
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, he has heard from "smart, plugged-in people" within the last month that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an "equally dangerous threat" to the Knicks in being able to sign Durant.
Stein, however, noted that during the season he had trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant planned to join the Knicks but suggested it could very well still be a mystery on where he will sign.
May 21, 7:52 PM:
Durant's manager, Rich Kleiman, told Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay that contrary to other reports the Warriors forward is "100 percent undecided" on where he is playing next year.
"That is 100 percent undecided and I'm waiting on Kevin and that's the truth," he said. "I think there's a feeling this thing is like war games and everybody is playing chess years out, but when somebody gets to the level of basketball like that you can't juggle focus like that ... I think it's frustrating, honestly, at times."
May 20, 3:15 PM:
Durant is "recruiting guys to go to New York with him, right now," reports Chris Broussard, who adds "If we hear that, you can't tell me the Warriors players don't hear that."
The pending free agent, who spent part of his Monday firing back at Broussard on Twitter after Broussard claimed the Warriors winning the title without him would be his "worst nightmare," remains on the sidelines as Golden State is on the brink of advancing to the NBA Finals.
May 17, 9:15 AM:
Durant's calf strain that he suffered in Golden State's second-round series against the Rockets is "more serious than we thought," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after a Game 2 win over the Trail Blazers.
The Warriors already ruled Durant out for Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference finals, but Kerr said the team is in "wait and see" mode in the meantime.
May 14, 1:24 PM:
There may be a "95 percent chance" that Durant and Irving are planning to come to New York, but there's "100 percent" chance that at least KD is joining the Knicks -- at least, that's what Colin Cowherd said he's been told.
According to "The Herd" host, a veteran NBA player sent him a direct message saying that the superstar going to the Knicks is "100 percent done" and he's also made calls to other players.
May 13, 11:52 AM:
According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, there is "95 percent chance" that Durant and Irving are planning to come to New York. He adds the only thing stopping this from happening is if Durant changes his mind.
May 9, 3:26 PM: It has been confirmed that Durant doesn't have an Achilles injury, and instead he suffered a mild right calf strain, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. He will be re-evaluated next week by the team, but it looks as if he will miss the rest of the Warriors-Rockets series.
May 9, 12:36 AM: Knicks fans watching Game 5 of the Warriors vs. Rockets probably didn't breathe for about five minutes when Durant pulled up on his right leg, and began limping his way off the court. The way the injury looked in the replay, it appeared he may have suffered a devastating Achilles injury.
However, it was confirmed to be a right calf sprain they said on the TNT broadcast. We do not know the severity of the injury, but KD will not return in Game 5.
May 6, 9:25 AM:
The Warriors are preparing for a "possibly seismic change" this summer, reports ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Whispers over the last few months have painted the Warriors as less optimistic about keeping Durant, and it now seems they're preparing for the possibility of both Durant and Klay Thompson leaving via free agency.
April 30, 1:14 PM:
Former NBA center Kendrick Perkins joined Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports' "Undisputed" on Tuesday, and dished out what he knows about Durant and Kyrie Irving.
"They have been talking a lot lately," he said. "...I could only imagine KD and Kyrie in New York. I might move to New York. I'd have to buy some tickets."
Perkins played with Irving during his stint with the Cavaliers, so he could still be connected to the dynamic floor general. The notion of Durant and Irving linking up in New York would be music to Knicks' fans ears, as those are the top two expected free agents this summer.
April 30, 10:27 a.m.
Durant already has a television show -- "The Boardroom" -- that airs on ESPN. But could the Knicks use the idea of a personal television show to lure the media-inclined Durant?
Industry sources have indicated to the New York Post's Marc Berman that this could certainly be the case. In fact, the speculation maintains that if Durant were to sign with the Knicks, he'd host his own show on MSG Network.
April 29, 2:11 PM:
Celebrity chef and Warriors fan Guy Fieri is getting desperate when it comes to attempting to try to keep Durant from leaving Golden State.
"Tell me what you need," Fieri recently told GQ about helping to keep Durant with the Warriors. "If there is a such thing as an inspiration dinner that I need to cook to bring all the dignitaries together-all the players, his team, his mom, you name it-well, consider that meal cooked."
April 26, 11:10 AM:
Durant's childhood friend NaVorro Bowman, the former Niners linebacker, told the New York Post that KD "needs" the Knicks.
When asked if the Knicks are a fit for Durant, Bowman said: "It's the Big Apple. I think it's a place where Kevin needs to go to solidify Kevin Durant. I hate to say it, but LeBron (James), he's a got a way about the people. His legacy is huge right now.
"Kevin's right there. I don't see who's ahead of who. But if he goes to New York and does what I know he's capable of, he'll go down as one of the best to ever play the game."
April 26, 11:00 AM:
There's more smoke around Durant heading to the Knicks, with ESPN's Ian Begley reporting that some former and current teammates expecting it to happen. He wrote that some around the star "told people with a rooting interest in the New York Knicks to stay patient amid the losses."
Begley wrote: "It's easier to find street parking in Manhattan than it is to find an NBA executive, player or coach who doesn't think Durant is going to sign with the Knicks in July."
April 22, 11:21 AM:
Durant explains to NBC Sports Bay Area why he will be the one who controls the message of where he signs for his impending free agency.
"After a while, players are starting to see how so many random people want to run with their messages and spin it around," he said.
April 8, 2:28 PM:
With rumors continuing to swirl that the Knicks are the favorites to sign Durant, Frank Isola of The Athletic reported Monday that some NBA executives and agents are so sure Durant and Kyrie Irving will team up in New York that one agent said Durant and Irving "are debating on who will sign first."
The reason that matters, according to Isola, is that the player who signs second will look like the follower.
April 4, 2:41 PM:
Durant's decision to sign with the Knicks as a free agent after the season is "done," Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report said on Wednesday.
"From everything I've heard, it's done," Bucher said during an appearance on The Herd. "Yes, he's leaving. ... If he so much as gets [the Knicks] into the Conference Finals, he will be beloved there like he never has been at Golden State after two championships."
April 3, 1:08 PM:
Rival executives say "without hesitation" that Durant is "bound for the Knicks" and that Irving is "likely to join him," writes Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Beck goes on to note that "virtually everyone" believes Durant is leaving the Warriors.
Mar. 27, 4:28 PM:
While speaking on WFAN with Mike Francesa, The Ringer's Bill Simmons said he would "bet the house" that Durant will land with the Knicks this offseason. He even went a step further to say, "I'd bet it's Kyrie [Irving] and Durant together."
Mar. 6, 12:52 PM:
There are members of the Warriors organization "concerned that Durant's behavior is a sign that he's already got one foot out the door," reports Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.
Feb. 21, 9:06 AM:
"We have no idea what he's going to do," a Warriors source told Frank Isola of The Athletic about Durant's pending free agency, adding that "there's not much more we can sell him on."
If Durant leaves the Warriors this offseason, the "general consensus" among NBA executives, players, and coaches is that he will land with the Knicks, reports Isola.
Isola notes that a "dark horse" in the Durant sweepstakes could be the Lakers, but suggests that Durant joining LeBron James doesn't make much sense given the fact that he's trying to create his own legacy.
Feb. 14, 10:36 AM:
Ethan Strauss of The Athletic -- who Durant called out by name during his recent tense presser with reporters -- said during his podcast Thursday that "There is infrastructure being laid down in New York, for him to go to New York -- if we're just completely real about it."
Feb. 12, 10:49 AM:
Durant's company, Thirty Five Ventures, is moving into a New York City office. This news broke along with an ESPN cover story detailing how Durant -- who recently suggested he just wants to talk about basketball -- has become a mogul.
Feb. 10, 9:58 PM:
The Knicks issued a statement regarding a picture of Durant (in game action against Mitchell Robinson) being used to promote ticket sales for the 2019-20 season. "Game action photos are used all the time for marketing purposes, but given everything going on, we took precaution of taking the photo down," the Knicks said. "To be clear, it was one of several rotating photos on the website."
Feb. 7, 8:20 AM:
After not speaking to the media for over a week, Durant ripped them over their recent coverage of him -- while not actually shutting down rumors that he could be headed to the Knicks.
"I have nothing to do with the Knicks," he said. "I don't know who traded Porzingis. They got nothing to do with me. I'm trying to play basketball. Y'all come in here every day. Ask me about free agency. Ask my teammates, my coaches, you rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball. That's all I'm saying. And now when I don't want to talk to y'all, that's a problem on me. Come on, man. Grow up. Grow up."
Feb. 1, 9:34 AM:
Knicks officials are highly optimistic about signing Durant this summer and are thought to have a "strong chance" to land him if he chooses to opt out of his deal with the Warriors.