Everybody in the basketball world must be incredibly pissed off right now. The basketball gods have been unfair to Kevin Durant and one of the greatest players in the history of the game is now sidelined with an Achilles injury.
Durant’s injury will have a huge impact on the way business get done in the league, and it will go way further than whatever happens in the sixth or seventh (if needed) game of the NBA Finals.
Kevin was bound to be the top price of this upcoming summer in free agency and while his injury may not scare away teams in their desire to sign him, everybody knows this one may be a career-altering injury.
Throughout the course of history, great players of the likes of Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant, DeMarcus Cousins, and Rudy Gay were able to make a successful comeback, while the same couldn’t be said of players like Elton Brand or Christian Laettner, who were never the same kind of player following that injury.
Obviously, a guy as talented and intelligent and with so many resources like Durant is always going to find a way to make an impact of the game and make his teammates better, but let’s not ignore the fact that he’s bound to miss, at least, 10 to 11 months while recovering. So, how will this affect the league? Let’s take a look.
Players Won’t Risk Anymore
Kevin Durant forced his body into making a comeback to try and help his teammates win the game and therefore have a shot at the three-peat. He shouldn’t have done it, and even if both injuries aren’t related, players aren’t going to put themselves in that position.
Durant tried to take his legacy to a whole new step, he put his body on the line for his teammates and the franchise, and while his competitive nature is something to give him a lot of respect for, don’t expect to see that happening again.
Bad Luck Knicks
The New York Knicks were reportedly the frontrunners to sign Kevin Durant in the summer, and they cleared a lot of cap space in order to make room for him and another superstar, like, say, Kyrie Irving or Anthony Davis.
However, the Brooklyn Nets have reportedly lured Kyrie and the Pelicans have no interest in the assets they have for a potential Davis trade. Also, they didn’t land the 1st overall pick, and even if they wind up signing Durant, he’s going to be out for almost a year, so they’ll basically pay him to sit for a whole season, or risk going empty-handed once again.
Major Blow In Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Clippers were also reportedly going to try and make a run at Kevin Durant, and while they weren’t leading the race, they’d definitely have a strong case with an owner like Ballmer, a coach like Doc Rivers, and their young core. Now, even if they pursue him, they’d have to wait for him almost a year in order to be able to come back.
The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, are going to try and convince him to join forces with LeBron James in the summer, but they were in a hurry to make the most of LeBron James’ prime and now are likely to have and wait a full season as the Warriors did with DeMarcus Cousins.
Another Shot At The Dynasty?
According to several reports, Kevin Durant would still consider opting in on the last year of his deal with the Golden State Warriors as a last resort, and with him sidelined with an injury and his deal set to expire, his trade value will be pretty close to zero.
However, we all know how Bob Myers feels about him, and how determined he is to convince him to stay, so giving the Warriors a whole season to make a case for him to sign another deal at the Bay would give them another shot at dominating the league for another 4-5 years.