Kevin Durant and his impending free agency have been the most talked about topics in the league in the past few months. No matter what the outcome of the 2018-19 NBA season, the majority of rumors and speculations suggest that Durant will be leaving the Warriors to face the next biggest challenge of his NBA career. Despite the rumors regarding his departure, the Warriors remain very optimistic that they can convince Durant to re-sign in the 2019 NBA free agency.
Aside from being the only team that can offer him a five-year max contract, the Warriors can also give Kevin Durant the best teammates and coaching staff to enable him to add more championship rings to his collection. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, bringing Durant back will be the Warriors' "highest priority" in the 2019 NBA offseason.
"The team's front office and ownership had made it known that re-signing Durant is the highest priority. Durant's choice to pass up a max contract offer and leave his options open with a one-year deal has generated a measure of stress throughout the season -- even for Durant, who went on a media hiatus after the New York Knicks made a trade to open salary-cap space with the obvious intention of chasing him in July."It's definitely not a surprise why the Warriors consider Kevin Durant as their No. 1 priority next summer. The Warriors were already a legitimate title contender even before they acquired Durant in 2016. However, no one can deny the fact that Durant's acquisition made the Warriors almost invincible in the past two years where they won back-to-back NBA championship titles. Before thinking about the 2019 NBA free agency, the Warriors should first focus on winning their third consecutive NBA championship title in the 2018-19 NBA season. The Warriors are currently facing a huge dilemma as Kevin Durant is yet to play a single game since suffering an injury during Game 5 of their Western Conference Semifinals matchup against the Houston Rockets.
The Warriors may have succeeded to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, but Coach Steve Kerr said Kevin Durant, whom he considered the "best player in the NBA in the playoffs," is a huge loss for the team. Most of the Warriors players shared the same sentiment as Kerr, with All-Star point guard Stephen Curry saying that they will make sure they are ready when Durant returns to the court.
"We miss our guy. He's carried us," Curry said. "We'll be ready for him when he's ready."
Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and the Trail Blazers will be on Thursday night at the Oracle Arena.