It appears like Stephen Curry will do everything he can to keep Kevin Durant with Golden State.
Curry is returning to the U.S. from an Under Armour tour in China to visit Durant in New York before free-agency negotiations begin Sunday, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources. Curry will be accompanied by Warriors general manager Bob Myers in what might be the team’s last chance to convince Durant not to leave the franchise.
Durant averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 2018-19 and ascended to another level in the postseason before straining his calf in Game 5 of a second-round series against the Rockets. Durant went on to miss all of the third round and returned in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but ruptured his Achilles in the second quarter, which will likely keep him out all of next year.
There’s speculation Durant was considering moving on from the Warriors in 2019 before this incident, but pressure to get back on the court before he was fully recovered may have caused an irreparable rift between him and the organization.
An earlier ESPN report said Durant has narrowed his list of potential teams down to the Warriors, Nets, Knicks and Clippers, so all is not lost. Golden State brass has made it clear it is prepared to give max offers to Durant and Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL in Game 6 of the Finals and will likely miss a majority of 2019-20. But that might not be enough to make amends with Durant, as basketball players rarely return to top form after Achilles injuries.
Durant, 30, joined Golden State in 2016 and won two championships and two Finals MVPs in his three seasons with the Warriors. He is entering an important part of his career, so Curry and Myers’ pitch will need to be just as good if not better than the one he received three years ago.