During Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Kevin Durant tore his Achilles tendon, throwing this summer’s free agency period into chaos. Not only is the best player available now out for all of next season, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be the same level of superstar when he gets back.
Durant is still expected to get a max deal, but it’s still unclear who it will be from. The Golden State Warriors are obviously still interested in re-signing him, but according to a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, they may be open to a unique solution if Durant makes it clear he wants to go elsewhere.
Per Windhorst, who made an appearance on SportsCenter ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft, the Warriors could be open to re-signing Durant to a full five-year max, allowing him to rehab with them, then working with him to trade him to a team he wants to play for. That arrangement would help Durant get more money — $57 million, to be exact — and help the Warriors get a return for Durant instead of losing him for nothing.
They’re trying to figure out a way to get Kevin Durant to remain with them. One of the options that could be at their feet is offering Kevin Durant a five-year contract, getting him to re-sign with them and rehab with them, and then later on, be it mid-way through enxt season, or even into next summer, they work with him on a trade somewhere else he would want to go. Going that route would get Kevin Durant an extra $57 million guaranteed and protect the Warriors and help them get assets. Whether or not Durant would be open to it is another story, but it’s certainly one of the options the Warriors will investigate.
This echoed what Windhorst reported earlier in the day on Get Up.
“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 could 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 and get some assets.”
“For lack of a better term, it would be a delayed sign and trade. It’s the only way Durant could get five years and play elsewhere. … The Warriors go into this as 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 come off of a devastating injury. He would be protected and get all of his money. Now, he’d have to trust the Warriors that they would actually work with you on a trade, but it’s something that has at least been discussed.”
It’s important to note that it’s unclear if Durant would even be interested in this possibility, but it’s a fascinating idea. Durant’s situation is quite unique, as he enters free agency immediately after major surgery. We’ve seen players enter free agency injured, but this combination of star player and serious injury is quite rare. Thus, it would be fitting if the Warriors came up with a unique solution.
Sources from: CBS Sports