Kevin Durant will be the biggest free agent on the market during the 2019 offseason and a return to the Warriors doesn’t appear to be a foregone conclusion, which means speculation about his decision will continue through the 2018/19 season. While Durant recognizes why that will happen, he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he’s hoping not to be constantly asked about it in the coming months.
“I know it’s easy to look at that type of [expletive] because it’s the entertainment side. But wait until the season is over with to analyze [free agency],” Durant said to Haynes. “I know it’s your job and it’s hard to say that, but try to shift some of your focus to the court, too. I know you have to still do your job and check on stuff like that, but every day? Every city I go to? Come on, man. I said what I had to say at media day. I understand your job, but let’s come to a little agreement. Don’t ask me every time you see me. If it’s the first time I’m seeing y’all, I don’t mind answering. But every time? Come on, bro.”
After winning back-to-back championships with the Warriors and earning consecutive Finals MVPs, Durant said that he doesn’t expect “anything extra” from the franchise this season as it tries to recruit him for a longer-term stay, adding, “I already know what this organization is about.”
While the Warriors will have Durant’s Bird rights at the end of the season, giving them the ability to offer a five-year worth up to a projected $221MM+, rival executives believe it may be possible to lure the 30-year-old away from the Bay Area. As Haynes details, the Knicks, Lakers, and Clippers are among the many teams with cap room who may have eyes for Durant. Sources tell Haynes that personnel from the Clippers, specifically, are expected to attend a “high number” of Warriors games this season.
Unless he’s willing to publicly commit to re-signing with the Warriors – like Kyrie Irving did with the Celtics – Durant won’t be able to stop the speculation, a fact he acknowledges. However, he suggests to Haynes that he may not be overly receptive to questions about his upcoming free agency if they continue all year long.
“It depends on how I feel that day,” Durant said. “If I’m in a [expletive]-up mood, you’re going to see. Ask me that question and you’re going to really see what mood I’m in.”