One thing is certain: Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.
Beyond that, uncertainty has enveloped the Golden State Warriors following their 114-110 Game 6 defeat to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday that secured Toronto’s first championship.
When asked Friday about the Warriors’ optimism that Durant will choose to re-sign with the Warriors, general manager Bob Myers simply said, “I don’t know” (h/t NBC Sports’ Logan Murdock).
Durant, who underwent successful surgery Wednesday on his Achilles, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Free agency also looms for Klay Thompson, who became the second Warrior to suffer devastating injury when he went down with a torn ACL in Game 6.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne was present with Thompson in the Warriors’ locker room when it was revealed that doctors suspected he’d torn his ACL. Shortly after, Durant called Thompson.
“They were encouraging each other to come back strong,” Mychal Thompson, Klay’s father, told Shelburne. “They got unfinished business.”
Thompson later asked if his injury could affect his free agency. However, Mychal told the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Connor Letourneau Friday that there’s “no question” his son will stay with the Warriors, where he’s spent his entire career to this point.
The same can’t be said about Durant.
According to ESPN’s Nick Friedell, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr echoed Myers’ uncertainty surrounding how free agency might affect the team’s framework. While “hopeful” both Durant and Thompson will stay in the Bay, Kerr acknowledged, “Our team is going to look a lot different next year.”
Kerr’s sentiment also extended to DeMarcus Cousins, who signed a one-year deal with the Warriors:
Logan Murdock @loganmmurdock
Steve Kerr on if DeMarcus Cousins will be back next season: “I think there’s a chance. I think the hope is that he can do better financially than what we can offer.”
On top of the question marks associated with free agency, the injuries suffered by Durant and Thompson change the dynamic of Golden State should they both choose to re-sign as the expectation is that Durant will miss the entire 2019-2020 season.
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Even if Warriors are able to keep Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant in free agency, it’ll be a fight to reach playoffs in the Western Conference. Thompson’s ACL rehab could take him into February or March — and Durant likely misses entire season. Devastating turn of events. https://t.co/xKXayv9p34
Back in December, Durant said on Yahoo’s Chris B. Haynes’ podcast that he intended to “get as much money as I can on my next deal.” One has to assume that mindset has only been emphasized by suffering a potentially career-threatening injury.
It’s assumed that neither Durant or Thompson will take less than the max.