NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant Could Leave Warriors To Face ‘Next Challenge’ Of His Career, Says ‘ESPN’ Analyst

Is leaving the Golden State Warriors really an option for Kevin Durant?

Kevin Durant of the Warriors during their game against the Orlando Magic
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Is leaving the Golden State Warriors really an option for Kevin Durant?

In the summer of 2016, Kevin Durant made the headlines when he left the Oklahoma City Thunder to chase his first NBA championship title with the Golden State Warriors. Despite earning plenty of criticisms, signing with the Warriors proved to be one of the best things that happened to Durant’s career. Two years after he made the controversial decision, KD won back-to-back NBA championship titles and named as the NBA Finals MVP twice.

Unfortunately, despite his numerous accomplishments, most people in the league will remember Kevin Durant as the superstar who swallowed his pride and joined forces with their 73-9 win Western Conference rivals to win a ring. Durant could change that narrative if he decides to make another big decision in the 2019 NBA free agency. Durant has a player option on his current Warriors’ contract that will enable him to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

NBA insiders from ESPN gave their wish list for Christmas 2019. For ESPN‘s Chris Herring, he’s hoping that Durant will return to Bay Area in Christmas 2019, not as a Warrior, but as a member of the opposing team. Herring believes it’s time for Durant to face the “next challenge” of his NBA career.

“The logic in leaving would be clear: After accomplishing just about everything he could with Golden State, he’d be prepared for the next challenge to show he’s capable of winning big without the sort of star power he has now. The bet here is that come Christmas Day 2019, Durant will be playing in the Bay Area — just in an opposing team’s uniform, in his return to face his former team.”

As of now, Kevin Durant is focused on winning his third consecutive NBA championship title with the Warriors. However, when the 2018-19 NBA season is over, he will be needing to make another tough decision regarding his NBA future. Durant hasn’t shown any strong indication that he will be leaving Golden State next summer, but he also didn’t give them an assurance that he will stay.

Durant is expected to be one of the most coveted superstars in the 2019 NBA free agency. So far, two teams emerged as his top landing spots if ever he decides to part ways with the Warriors. These include the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks. The Lakers and the Knicks are two of the most successful franchises in the league. Both teams are also in a strong position to create enough salary cap space to give Durant a maximum contract. According to a previous Inquisitr article, Durant will try to “get as much money” as he hits the free agency market next July.