So, the worst case scenario has become a reality as Kevin Durant himself broke the news of his ruptured Achilles. He seems to be in good spirits with a heartfelt Instagram post after his surgery but I’m sure it is eating him alive that he will now be missing, what will more than likely be, an entire season next year. What’s next for Durant? Should he opt into his $31.5 million option and stay with the Golden State Warriors next season and just get paid to rehab? Should he go ahead and test free agency?
Breaking: KD confirms he’s torn his Achilles: “Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 12, 2019
The man is going to get paid what he is worth regardless of his injury. We are still talking about the best scorer in the NBA, and he will most certainly get every bit of that max contract that he was looking at before the injury. Sure, maybe there’s a couple of teams that are more hesitant based on the fact that they are trying to enter win now mode, but he is still Kevin Durant and the contract will still reflect that.
Here's a look at the annual salaries on the max contract the Knicks can offer Kevin Durant:
2019-20 (age 31): $38.2 million
2020-21 (age 32): $40.1 million
2021-22 (age 33): $42.1 million
2022-23 (age 34): $44.2 million
Sums to a total of $164.6 million over four years.
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 12, 2019
According to Woj, it was reported that Durant opting into his contract with Golden State would be the “last resort,” which I found very interesting as it seemed like the most sensible scenario. I guess he is so ready to get out of Golden State that he doesn’t even want to rehab there. Kind of makes you wonder if he has resentment towards the team now that this happened, doesn’t it? He still has until June 29th to make his decision, but it looks like Durant is betting on himself, his health, and he’ll still be looking for the long term contract.
KD still expected to decline player option with @warriors this summer
Multiple teams prepared to offer the max contract, despite achilles injuryhttps://t.co/flOvrmz2S4
— HotNewHipHop (@HotNewHipHop) June 11, 2019
Durant will be 32 before he plays again, but let’s be honest here, the Brooklyn Nets or the New York Knicks will still gladly take Kevin Durant in his current state and pay him his max. It’s the right move for both sides and it will obviously be the biggest story of free agency.
I know we talked yesterday about who should be at blame for the injury, but at the end of the day whether it was the coaches pressuring Durant or the medical staff misdiagnosing him or if it was just a freak accident that actually had nothing to do with the calf (unlikely), it was still up to Kevin Durant whether he wanted to play. Kevin Durant’s love of the game and his warrior mentality led him to this situation. Yes, it sucks now for KD and we all wish him a speedy recovery, but it’s not going to hurt his stock.
Kevin Durant finished the playoffs as the only player in NBA history to average 30 PPG on 50-40-90 shooting in a single postseason (min. 5 games). pic.twitter.com/GoDw8a3MbG
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 12, 2019