Golden State Warriors superstar forward Kevin Durant is facing an uncertain future after suffering a potentially serious Achilles injury during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, but the potential unrestricted free agent made it clear before Monday night he wasn’t interested in recruiting pitches.
“I can’t be recruited,” Durant told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports last week for an article published Tuesday morning. “Write that.”
Durant is set to undergo an MRI on Tuesday, which the Warriors believe will reveal a torn Achilles tendon in his right leg, per Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Although the injury could force the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP to miss the entirety of the 2019-20 season if confirmed, it’s seemingly not going to impact the number of free-agent suitors.
ESPN’s Bobby Marksappeared on Tuesday’s edition of Get Up and discussed the response he received after speaking with front-office executives about Durant’s promising outlook despite the injury:
“I said … If you had cap space, would you go out and sign Kevin Durant knowing that he will likely be out maybe the whole year? And the resounding answer was ‘yes.’ Each of the teams also said that they wouldn’t even put any injury language in there for maybe years three and four to protect. So, yes, there will be a marketplace for Kevin Durant this summer, either with a team for four years, $141 million dollars or even back in Golden State here.”
The 10-time All-Star selection has been steadfast in his stance that rehearsed pitches from opposing general managers and players wouldn’t impact his decision-making process. He made similar comments while speaking with Haynes in December:
Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes
For those who prefer a visual podcast experience, we’ve provided the full hour-long debut episode of “Posted Up” featuring Kevin Durant on our YouTube page. 📺: https://t.co/P4NsBPvHDv Snippet: ‘Nobody can recruit me no more.’ https://t.co/3TiGm0g5BO
He’s arguably the best basketball player on the planet right now and certainly in the top five, so teams are still going to jump at the opportunity to sign him, even if it means waiting a year to see him on the floor.
Meanwhile, the University of Texas product said all the way back in October he was more concerned about the financial side of the free-agent offers than everything else teams try to sell him on.
“I am thinking about the money I’m going to get,” he told Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “I never got the [massive] deal. I’ve just seen a bunch of dudes around the league making so much money-and I’m happy for them. But I know I deserve that too. That’s the only thing I’m probably thinking about, to be honest.”
He did everything in his power to make it back in time to help the Warriors win their third consecutive title. While he won’t be able to help finish that pursuit, his long-term outlook remains positive, regardless of whether he’s able to play next season.