The rumor about Kevin Durant’s departure from the Golden State Warriors is currently one of the most controversial topics in the NBA, and it isn’t expected to stop circulating around the league until the two-time NBA champion inks a new deal. If he wants to win more NBA titles, staying with the Warriors is the best option for Durant.
However, in the past few months, there has been speculation that after winning his third championship ring in Golden State, Kevin Durant may consider leaving the Warriors to face the next big challenge of his NBA career. Frank Isola of The Athletic recently floated another reason why Durant will choose to part ways with the Warriors in the 2019 NBA free agency.
Similar to the reason his close pal Kyrie Irving used when he demanded a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, there is a growing belief around the league that Kevin Durant will leave the Warriors to “escape from the shadow” of Stephen Curry.
“The dark horse is the Los Angeles Lakers, who struck out on Paul George and Leonard last summer and failed to acquire Davis before the trade deadline. The feeling is that if Durant were to leave the Warriors he would do so to escape the shadow of Stephen Curry. So joining LeBron in L.A. doesn’t make sense.”
Kyrie Irving in no mood to explain conversation with Kevin Durant https://t.co/vcTa2hO0Ev— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) February 21, 2019
Warriors owner Joe Lacob has already expressed his willingness to spend a huge amount of money just to keep their championship core together. Unfortunately, though Klay Thompson publicly stated his desire to re-sign with the Warriors, Kevin Durant hasn’t given any assurance that he intends to stay in Golden State beyond the 2018-19 NBA season. A Warriors source who spoke to Isola admitted that they currently have “no idea” what Durant plans to do next summer.
“We have no idea what he’s going to do,” a team source told Isola. “Everyone wants him to stay. There’s not much more we can sell him on. If he leaves, we’ll think of it as being lucky to have him for three great years.”
Having enough salary cap space for a max free agent, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be very aggressive in pursuing Kevin Durant once he parts ways with the Warriors. However, if moving out of the shadow of Stephen Curry is the real reason why Durant will leave the Warriors, teaming up with LeBron James in Los Angeles doesn’t make any sense. According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, if Durant won’t re-sign with the Warriors, the “strong belief” around the league is he’ll be joining the New York Knicks.