Kevin Durant Offseason Thread

ifmanis5

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KD's season is done.
In addition to his calf injury he now has an Achilles injury per Golden State GM Bob Myers, MRI to come tomorrow.

Too soon to measure exactly how the now multiple injuries play into where he goes, how long he will be out for or what salary he can get, but the KD watch is officially on.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I respect him for going out there when his team badly needed him and risking his career, whatever happens now
 

Marciano490

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Just saw the slow mo close up of the injury. That’s a torn Achilles. You can see the vibration.
 

radsoxfan

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He’s worth so much more than a max contract that even a compete rupture and missing most of next season probably won’t prevent him from getting whatever contract and terms he wants.

What a nightmare for him and the entire medical staff though. Obviously I’m sure they had good docs on it, and there always risk when you try to push the timetable on that type of injury, but wow. Talk about having it all blow up in the worst possible way.
 

reggiecleveland

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Leo Rautins on the Raptors broadcast was pretty adamant pregame it was a bad idea for Durant to play if the infomation about the injury was correct. He assumed the warriors were sandbagging.

As the game started he mentioned several times KD had been pressured into playing. Sftr6he got hurt he was livid. He is as big a homer as any announcer, but he could not believe KD tried to play.
 

lovegtm

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If you're the Celtics this actually opens up the possibility of nighthob's dream scenario
Or of his nightmare one, where Kyrie decides that teaming up with KD is out, recommits to the Celtics, and Danny is emboldened to go all in for AD.

If I'm Kyrie, I'd way rather commit to play with 27 year-old AD in Boston than with 31 year-old, torn Achilles KD. That decision isn't even particularly close imo.
 

DrewDawg

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He’s worth so much more than a max contract that even a compete rupture and missing most of next season probably won’t prevent him from getting whatever contract and terms he wants.
ESPN Radio this morning said it's gonna be more like a season and a half (that last half getting comfortable again) and if some team wants to commit $160M to that....then, that's a big gamble.

Not to mention the teams that wanted something like Kyrie/KD and immediate contention for a title don't have that now.

The NBA landscape just changed.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Doesn’t this mean KD just opts in with GS who has to pay him for one more year and he goes out as a FA after next year?
 

BJBossman

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Doesn’t this mean KD just opts in with GS who has to pay him for one more year and he goes out as a FA after next year?
That's what I was thinking. I was expecting this will be a rather short thread. He opts in, gets paid to rehab, and takes his chances next year. Maybe he stays with the Warriors after all.
 

ifmanis5

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There's going to be a lot of talk about how he was used in that last game. No minutes limit, played too much too soon and making his regular moves instead of being more simple and deliberate with his cuts and responsibilities. Lots of comparisons to the IT situation as well. I hope he can heal these injuries but it's possible we've seen the best of him.
 

boca

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There's going to be a lot of talk about how he was used in that last game. No minutes limit, played too much too soon and making his regular moves instead of being more simple and deliberate with his cuts and responsibilities. Lots of comparisons to the IT situation as well. I hope he can heal these injuries but it's possible we've seen the best of him.
Starting him was a shock to me. Felt for sure that they would ease him in. There are definitely questions to be asked of how the Warriors handled his injury from the start and how much pressure they exerted on him to play last night.
 

Plantiers Wart

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That's what I was thinking. I was expecting this will be a rather short thread. He opts in, gets paid to rehab, and takes his chances next year. Maybe he stays with the Warriors after all.
He would lose somewhere in the neighborhood of $5-7 million next year alone and delay the annual increases that kick in subsequently. He will get a max offer elsewhere, if he wants to go.
 

CreedBratton

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Yup have to think KD opts in now & stays & maybe returns for the finals next June. This makes it much more likely Kyrie stays in Boston & no team ups or not as many happening across the league. Can’t imagine AD wanting to go to knicks without KD. Everything has changed now for this summer.
 

radsoxfan

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There may be some individual teams in “win this year at all costs mode” that have some hesitancy using their cap space on a guy who might be mostly rehabbing.

But in general he’s way too good and too young not to get multiple max offers. I’d probably still be for losing kyrie Al and whatever to sign KD to a long term max given how this upcoming season isn’t looking so hot anyway.

The opt in might make sense if he wants to punt any long term decisions and get as many teams in the mix as possible. But I don’t think that’s the only way to get his money. Achilles injuries suck and there is definitely some risk involved long term, but the guy is just too good.

It’s not an IT or Demarcus cousins injury situation where you had question marks even without the injury. Certainly this would be a big hit to him financially if there were no max contracts the NBA, given his excess value on a max contract definitely just went way down.
 

HomeRunBaker

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KD's season is done.
In addition to his calf injury he now has an Achilles injury per Golden State GM Bob Myers, MRI to come tomorrow.

Too soon to measure exactly how the now multiple injuries play into where he goes, how long he will be out for or what salary he can get, but the KD watch is officially on.
You’re assuming it wasn’t already an Achilles injury. Lots of shady stuff going on with the rushed progression of his return. Foolish on so many levels.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Starting him was a shock to me. Felt for sure that they would ease him in. There are definitely questions to be asked of how the Warriors handled his injury from the start and how much pressure they exerted on him to play last night.
The problem with “easing him in” is that this was an elimination game. Klay and Curry sounded like they were given post-game instructions in their presser following G4 pressuring him to return. I’m sure the Warriors medical team was also pressured to clear him.

It just sucks all around for KD. He can’t sit out without facing backlash for remainder of his career and he can’t go from 0 to 60 with a calf injury without placing himself risk.......and that is IF it was “only” a calf injury. I’m not convinced it was.

Scalabrine said yesterday morning that team doctors he knows told him that a weakened calf muscle places the Achilles under additional strain. An alleged doctor then called in saying that isn’t the case and that the weak calf would go before the Achilles. Radsox, care to chime in on this?
 

Plantiers Wart

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Any pressure the team put on him to return might also cause a rift. Kerr said he would never rush back Klay for fear of reinjury. Regarding KD, Kerr deferred to the GM.

The soap opera off-season is better now.
 

RedOctober3829

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The problem with “easing him in” is that this was an elimination game. Klay and Curry sounded like they were given post-game instructions in their presser following G4 pressuring him to return. I’m sure the Warriors medical team was also pressured to clear him.

It just sucks all around for KD. He can’t sit out without facing backlash for remainder of his career and he can’t go from 0 to 60 with a calf injury without placing himself risk.......and that is IF it was “only” a calf injury. I’m not convinced it was.

Scalabrine said yesterday morning that team doctors he knows told him that a weakened calf muscle places the Achilles under additional strain. An alleged doctor then called in saying that isn’t the case and that the weak calf would go before the Achilles. Radsox, care to chime in on this?
My sister is an ATC and said that a weakened calf puts more pressure on the Achilles tendon. She also said if the location of the calf injury was close to the tendon insertion that could make an impact as well.
 

ifmanis5

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You’re assuming it wasn’t already an Achilles injury. Lots of shady stuff going on with the rushed progression of his return. Foolish on so many levels.
Agreed. It's pretty difficult to manage injuries to star players (especially in the playoffs) but this was handled in a shady way.

"Look at what happened to IT" was something inside NBA people could relate to but "look at what happened to KD" will be something everyone knows and will become a guideline in the near future. Also the recent trend of short term contracts (which had gained a lot of steam with KL's run) may start to fade or be changed to include strict injury clauses.
 

DrewDawg

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As the guys on NBA Radio said this morning---yeah, maybe someone still gives KD the max. But the idea of having him and Kyrie was that Kyrie would play off of KD who is the alpha. One might not want Kyrie this year if KD can't play because of the perception of how it went in Boston when he was the "leader".
 

RedOctober3829

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As the guys on NBA Radio said this morning---yeah, maybe someone still gives KD the max. But the idea of having him and Kyrie was that Kyrie would play off of KD who is the alpha. One might not want Kyrie this year if KD can't play because of the perception of how it went in Boston when he was the "leader".
Paying a 31 year old a max deal coming off of an Achilles is pretty risky. It's KD, so someone still may do it. But that injury may have changed the NBA landscape for years.
 

lexrageorge

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Right after the initial "calf" injury happened, I saw a blurp on ESPN speculating that KD had suffered an Achilles injury.

Any team signing him to the max would be getting nothing from him for one season, and taking a risk on the second season that he's able to be effective and that he doesn't suffer any setbacks during rehab.
 

radsoxfan

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Scalabrine said yesterday morning that team doctors he knows told him that a weakened calf muscle places the Achilles under additional strain. An alleged doctor then called in saying that isn’t the case and that the weak calf would go before the Achilles. Radsox, care to chime in on this?
The elephant in the room is that it’s pretty clear at this point KD’s initial injury was a distal calf tear that was close to his Achilles.

I agree if it was a proximal strain in the fleshy proximal or mid calf far from the Achilles that the calf would be at more risk for re-injury.

But these things aren’t black and white. The calf doesn’t magically suddenly become Achilles’ tendon. The muscles coalesce into tendon fibers and blend together as they get closer to the heel. This happens over many centimeters.

If he had a distal calf tear at the muscle-tendon junction just before what would be considered the Achilles, then the tendon was probably more at risk than the calf muscle itself.
 

nighthob

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As the guys on NBA Radio said this morning---yeah, maybe someone still gives KD the max. But the idea of having him and Kyrie was that Kyrie would play off of KD who is the alpha. One might not want Kyrie this year if KD can't play because of the perception of how it went in Boston when he was the "leader".
Unless, of course, having Irving increases your odds of getting Durant for the long term. This does fundamentally change the landscape, though. If you're New York do you go all in on Davis without him signing an extension now knowing that Durant is a '21 thing?
 

cheech13

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Doesn’t this mean KD just opts in with GS who has to pay him for one more year and he goes out as a FA after next year?
This was my initial thought as well, but if there is mistrust with the medical staff now that could open up a new rift that could lead to a divorce. Players have been willing to leave good teams and situations once that trust with the training and medical staff was broken (see: Bill Walton and Kawhi Leonard).
 

nighthob

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Yeah, there's no reason he opts in at sub max when there are going to be plenty of max offers around from teams whose medical staffs didn't screw him over.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think any team who wants Durant would be nuts not to offer him a full max regardless of this. He's one of the top couple guys in the league and they very rarely become available. Sure, you eat a year and you have greater risk now, but what's the alternative use of that $$$? It's someone less good and unless it is Kawhi it is someone who isn't even in the same tier as a healthy KD. I think it's a no-brainer you eat the year if he is willing to sign with your franchise. Sure it might backfire, but the NBA is a star league---you don't get many shots at a guy like him and so you take the ones you have and hope.
 

cheech13

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I think any team who wants Durant would be nuts not to offer him a full max regardless of this. He's one of the top couple guys in the league and they very rarely become available. Sure, you eat a year and you have greater risk now, but what's the alternative use of that $$$? It's someone less good and unless it is Kawhi it is someone who isn't even in the same tier as a healthy KD. I think it's a no-brainer you eat the year if he is willing to sign with your franchise. Sure it might backfire, but the NBA is a star league---you don't get many shots at a guy like him and so you take the ones you have and hope.
The counter to this is he might miss all of next season. At that point you're banking on 32-year-old Kevin Durant coming off a major injury and lost season to still be one of the top five or ten players in the league and that may not be realistic. The history of players coming off this type of injury is grim. Even those that did come back playing at a high level usually suffered additional injuries later on that cut their productivity short. Not saying it's impossible that he's still the old KD but the risk is significantly higher than many people here seem to think.
 

PedroKsBambino

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The counter to this is he might miss all of next season. At that point you're banking on 32-year-old Kevin Durant coming off a major injury and lost season to still be one of the top five or ten players in the league and that may not be realistic. The history of players coming off this type of injury is grim. Even those that did come back playing at a high level usually suffered additional injuries later on that cut their productivity short. Not saying it's impossible that he's still the old KD but the risk is significantly higher than many people here seem to think.
All that is true, but I think misses the choice the teams face. The question is whether you have a better bet to make this offseason than the above. Isn't the answer "no" to that for any team who can't get Kawhi?

In other words, would you rather bet on Jimmy Butler suddenly become a lot better, or KD coming back healthy in a year? Kyrie learns to play nice, or KD comes back fully healthy? etc.

I think you'd pick Kawhi over KD for sure now (a team might have anyway). But otherwise, unless perhaps you can get AD (which is a different acquisiton cost) I think teams are better with the KD gamble than other options.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I think any team who wants Durant would be nuts not to offer him a full max regardless of this. He's one of the top couple guys in the league and they very rarely become available. Sure, you eat a year and you have greater risk now, but what's the alternative use of that $$$? It's someone less good and unless it is Kawhi it is someone who isn't even in the same tier as a healthy KD. I think it's a no-brainer you eat the year if he is willing to sign with your franchise. Sure it might backfire, but the NBA is a star league---you don't get many shots at a guy like him and so you take the ones you have and hope.
Would it make sense for the Knicks to sign him and then tank again next season? I guess it would make it somewhat harder to attract another marquee free agent like Kyrie this year.
 

radsoxfan

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The counter to this is he might miss all of next season. At that point you're banking on 32-year-old Kevin Durant coming off a major injury and lost season to still be one of the top five or ten players in the league and that may not be realistic. The history of players coming off this type of injury is grim. Even those that did come back playing at a high level usually suffered additional injuries later on that cut their productivity short. Not saying it's impossible that he's still the old KD but the risk is significantly higher than many people here seem to think.
I don’t mean to discount the risk (it’s definitely significant), but you win in the NBA with top 5 guys like Durant. Obviously the team docs will want to see all the imaging, but without any other info, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get some max offers (perhaps only a couple rather than every team that can).

How low would the % chance of Durant returning to a top 5-10 player have to be before most teams would say no? 75% 50%? 25%? Even if it’s only a 50/50 shot you get something close to current Durant, that’s a lot better chance than most teams have of getting a player that good.
 

GoDa

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I wouldn't touch him.

If he returns as 75% or 80% of the player he is now - that might be a good player and someone to add to the mix for a team that is right there, but not a guy I'd want to build around or give max money. Even if he returns at 90%, he has still dropped back a tier. Someone will pay - but I'd be disappointed if it was my team.
 

cheech13

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I wouldn't touch him.

If he returns as 75% or 80% of the player he is now - that might be a good player and someone to add to the mix for a team that is right there, but not a guy I'd want to build around or give max money. Even if he returns at 90%, he has still dropped back a tier. Someone will pay - but I'd be disappointed if it was my team.
Average drop is -19% for PER and -2.8 for BPM for players aged 30 and under that suffered a torn achilles (https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/8wapye/impacts_of_torn_achilles_tendons_by_the_numbers/). That would take Kevin Durant from an elite level to borderline All-Star.

For players over 30 the injury is usually career ending. For those under 30 it's not but the player rarely returns to a high level. Dominique Wilkins is really the only one that came back at an All-Star level.
 
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Average Game James

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It’s certainly way more risky to offer KD a full max deal, but at the same time, there aren’t a lot of obvious alternative paths to a potential top-10 talent in the next year for some of the teams that carved out max space with the idea of getting two stars this offseason, at least if we assume Kawhi to LAC is close to a lock and that Davis will only consider NY/LA if he hits FA next year.

For example, Brooklyn could try to sign Kyrie and Butler instead of Kyrie/KD. That team is obviously better in 2019-20 than paying an injured KD but the ceiling is probably below being a championship contender. And, unless you think AD will come to you a year later in FA, KD is probably your best shot at adding a top-10 talent in 2020-21.

NYK’s situation is more interesting, if they think they can put together a package for AD. Kyrie, plus AD, plus one other max guy in the Butler/Harris/Middleton group isn’t exactly the world beater than KI/KD/AD would be, but even surrounding that team with vet min ring chaser types is still a finals contender in an Kawhi-less eastern conference. But, if you either can’t make an AD trade or can’t sign one of the second tier stars, what option is better than grabbing KD and waiting a year?
 

DrewDawg

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Yeah, there's no reason he opts in at sub max when there are going to be plenty of max offers around from teams whose medical staffs didn't screw him over.
That sounds logical, but the idea that a guy that suffered an Achilles injury that will have him out a season and then possibly take another half-season to get ready, and NOTHING will change in his free agency seems off to me.
 

Sam Ray Not

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He is as big a homer as any announcer, but he could not believe KD tried to play.
He's fucking full of shit. He has no idea if the Warriors "pressured him" to play against his will. Given that KD is arguably the most powerful person in the league right now, and was Instagramming out his love to his teammates right after the injury, the reasonable assumption is that they did not.

Grade 2 calf strains happen all the time in the NBA. Typical recovery time is 4-6 weeks; and KD was right at 5 weeks when he returned. They (= KD and the med staff) may have been aggressive with the timeline, and may have assumed a mild risk of re-straining the same calf muscle, but did anyone think there was a real risk of a ruptured Achilles? I know they're in the same area, but is there precedent for a player returning from a strained calf and immediately tearing his Achilles? I dunno, I'd allow a strong possibility that we're dealing with a pretty freak injury that could have happened at any time, including during rehab.

In any case, get well soon, KD. As others have noted here, however severe the MRI reveals it to be, he's gonna get multi-year max offers from multiple teams, including the Warriors. We're not talking about Isaiah Thomas or DeMarcus Cousins here, with all due respect to those guys. You take a bigger risk for the late prime years of a guy who when healthy is the best player in the world. In the Warriors' case, there's not even a risk in terms of opportunity cost, since they can't replace him if he signs elsewhere. Yeah, there's luxury taxes to consider, but those are less painful when you're sitting on a $4B asset that you paid $400M for ten years ago, and are about to open a new SF Cash Cow Palace that you financed on other people's dimes with corporate naming rights.

Also, knock on wood furiously, but KD's game is based so much on his ridiculous combo of length and skill (as opposed to speed or explosive athleticism) that I'd bet he'll get closer to 100% when he returns than a lot of guys.
 

radsoxfan

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That sounds logical, but the idea that a guy that suffered an Achilles injury that will have him out a season and then possibly take another half-season to get ready, and NOTHING will change in his free agency seems off to me.
Things will change, but don’t forget how much ridiculous excess value KD on a max contract had before this injury. The NBA salary system really changes things for these Uber-elite guys like Durant, Lebron, Kahwi, AD.

In a free open market he might get 50M+/year. He could take a giant hit in expected value and still be a max or near max guy.
 

Average Game James

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That sounds logical, but the idea that a guy that suffered an Achilles injury that will have him out a season and then possibly take another half-season to get ready, and NOTHING will change in his free agency seems off to me.
I mean, it’s a function of the max contract, right? If it were a truly open FA market, then yes, KD would have lost a lot of money. But in a world where one of the top 3 players in the league makes about half what they’re worth on the open market, your value can take a massive hit and you’re still worth the max.
 

the moops

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I wouldn't touch him.

If he returns as 75% or 80% of the player he is now - that might be a good player and someone to add to the mix for a team that is right there, but not a guy I'd want to build around or give max money. Even if he returns at 90%, he has still dropped back a tier. Someone will pay - but I'd be disappointed if it was my team.
90% Kevin Durant is way worth the max though. The list of players on max contracts is pretty lengthy and KD certainly falls in the top half even accounting for a slow return from injury
 

nighthob

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That sounds logical, but the idea that a guy that suffered an Achilles injury that will have him out a season and then possibly take another half-season to get ready, and NOTHING will change in his free agency seems off to me.
I mean it seems off, but the reality is that teams need top 5-10 players to contend. 90% of KD is still an all star player and quite possibly a top 10 one. If you're getting Irving and Durant as a package deal, you live with the one frustrating year to get to the two all star one.
 

Kliq

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I feel bad for Durant because he gave it a go last night and it appears to have ended up as the worst case scenario (I guess losing the game would have been THE worst case scenario, but this is pretty close) and he deserves a lot of credit from people who said we went to GS and took the easy way to a title (hey that's me!) because he certainly did not take the easy way to a title last night. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Durant has had previous leg/foot issues in the past that have caused him to miss significant time. Obviously he hasn't torn his Achilles before, but how much trauma can a 7-footers legs take?
 

ifmanis5

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90% Kevin Durant is way worth the max though. The list of players on max contracts is pretty lengthy and KD certainly falls in the top half even accounting for a slow return from injury
No doubt he is worth it but he's likely out for a year at a minimum and on the wrong side of thirty with a bad wheel. The whole chain of free agent order for this offseason has been disrupted.
 

nighthob

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I feel bad for Durant because he gave it a go last night and it appears to have ended up as the worst case scenario (I guess losing the game would have been THE worst case scenario, but this is pretty close) ...
Pretty sure an achilles tear is worse than a game five loss.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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KD will not be the same player when he returns. The Achilles is one of the worst injuries to come back from. You won’t get much from him for more than a season and then certainly not get anything great in that 2nd season. You’re banking on him being KD for two seasons approaching his mid 30’s coming off the Achilles. It will be very interesting to see how he is truly valued here.
 

nighthob

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We're not talking Kobe Bryant here. While Durant's athleticism has been a real plus, he's such a great shooter/scorer that he's likely to just keep going. All that will really happen is a move to the 4 spot full time.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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I haven't really been following this whole situation, but isn't it at least possible that KD himself pressured the med staff into clearing him so he could play in an elimination game to try to keep his team's season alive? Isn't one of his hallmarks that he's been largely unselfish and team-first?