Will Kevin Durant leave the Golden State Warriors in 2019 NBA free agency?
After winning back-to-back NBA championship titles, the Golden State Warriors succeeded to retain their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. Having all four NBA All-Stars is already enough to make the Warriors the top favorite to win the 2018-19 NBA championship title, but the reigning NBA champs just got stronger with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the recent free agency.
As of now, there is a strong chance that the Warriors will continue their dynasty for another year. However, things could dramatically change when free agency hits in July 2019. Some of the Warriors’ key players, including Kevin Durant, are set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Though KD is expected to sign a long-term deal with the Warriors, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (h/t Sagar Trika of SB Nation’s Blazer’s Edge) entered the possibility that the 29-year-old small forward can be “recruited away” from Golden State.
“Lots of teams in the league think [Kevin Durant] will be in play and that there’s a chance that he could be recruited away from [GSW]. He could re-sign with them for $200M+, and that doesn’t seem, right now, to be the most important factor for him or for anybody else.”
The departure of Kevin Durant in Golden State will undeniably have a huge impact on the NBA landscape. Losing Durant will not take away the Warriors’ status as a legitimate title contender as long as they have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on their team. However, it will make them vulnerable, unlike the last two seasons, where they easily dominated the entire league.
Tom Ziller of SB Nation recently discussed the only thing that can convince Durant to leave the Warriors. Ziller believes Durant’s decision in 2019 free agency will be based on what is good for his legacy. The two-time NBA champion is expected to part ways with the Warriors once he thinks that his legacy will suffer by staying in Golden State.
In the recent ESPN Summer Forecast, panelists still predicted the Warriors to be Durant’s top free agency destination next offseason. The New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, got nominations for teams who could recruit Durant away from Golden State. As of now, most NBA teams and players are focused in the upcoming training camp. Still, rumors will continue to swirl between now and the 2019 NBA free agency.
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