It’s official, Golden State Warriors All-Star Forward Kevin Durant will miss the entire Western Conference Finals series against the Portland Trailblazers. His absence is due to a calf injury suffered on May 8th against the Houston Rockets in Game Five of the Conference Semifinals.
With Durant’s pending free agency expected to be one of, if not the biggest offseason stories, what should fans of the Golden State Warriors be rooting for: Is it more likely Durant would return to the team next season if they go on and win a championship without him? Or would his value to the team be proven with his teammates falling short of a three-peat with him on the bench? Does it become an easier sales pitch for Warriors’ ownership to keep him and help them open their new arena next season if they win or lose a championship this postseason?
Personally, just like LeBron James knew he was going to the Los Angeles Lakers, I think Durant already knows with a high level of certainty where he is going to play next season. While it’s a virtual lock that he will still hold court with potential future employers in July, and he’s potentially open to changing his mind between now and then, what issues could probably come up between now and then that would persuade him to change his mind? Are the New York Knicks getting new ownership? Does one of his friends in the league call him up and say, “Hey KD, let’s hook up and player (insert city here).
Durant took a lot of heat for leaving the OKC Thunder and joining the Warriors, and as a man known to read everything said about him through his social media burner accounts, it’s hard for me to think that he will leave Golden State because that would almost be admitting that those to criticized him for going there were right all along. I also believe that Klay Thompson is going to leave the team, which will make re-signing Durant an even biggest goal of Warriors’ ownership.