After blowing a 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors decided to chase Kevin Durant in the free agency market. Despite earning plenty of criticisms, Durant chose to follow his heart’s desire to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and join their Western Conference rivals. The controversial move proved to be the right decision for the 30-year-old small forward as he ended up winning two consecutive NBA championship titles.
However, despite his success with the Warriors, rumors and speculations still continue to swirl that Kevin Durant may consider leaving Golden State. This offseason, Durant signed a two-year contract with a player option in the second year that enables him to join a loaded free agency class in the summer of 2019. The All-Star small forward has already been linked to numerous teams, including the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The potential departure of Kevin Durant from Golden State will dramatically change the NBA landscape. It won’t take away the Warriors’ status as a legitimate title contender, but it will make them vulnerable. However, though Durant hasn’t made a commitment to stay beyond the 2018-19 NBA season, Warriors owner Joe Lacob isn’t “too worried” about his impending free agency.
“It’s not even on my mind. There’s no more uncertainty this year than there was last. He’s been on a one-year deal each year. So I don’t really understand what all the hullabaloo is about,” team owner Joe Lacob said, according to Mark Medina of The Mercury News.
“He loves being a part of our organization and being a part of the Bay Area. He’s earned the right to be a free agent or do whatever he wants in terms of contract status. I would let it play out and see what happens. I’m not too worried about it.”
Joe Lacob says KD can do "whatever he wants in terms of contract status." https://t.co/R5mtK9sKto— SLAM (@SLAMonline) October 15, 2018
It’s easy to understand why Warriors owner Joe Lacob is very confident that Kevin Durant will re-sign with the Warriors next summer. They have faced similar situations almost every offseason, and as of now, it’s hard to imagine Durant passing on the opportunity to win more NBA championship titles to play somewhere else.
The Warriors currently have the most talented roster in the league. After winning back-to-back NBA championship titles, they didn’t only retain their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Durant, and Draymond Green, but they also upgraded their roster with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the recent free agency. Aside from Durant, the Warriors are also hoping to reach an agreement regarding a contract extension with Thompson and Green.