Kevin Durant‘s Achilles injury won’t change the offseason plans for several NBA franchises. The Warriors, Knicks, Nets, Lakers, and Clippers are all expected to pursue Durant, with his injury unlikely to cool their enthusiasm, sources tell David Aldridge of The Athletic.
There’s optimism around the league that Durant will come back from the ailment and remain among the NBA’s elite, making him worthy of a maximum-salary investment this summer.
“It’s not like he’s gonna fall from the top player in the league to number 50, even with the Achilles,” a league executive told Aldridge. “Maybe he falls into the top 10. I still think KD is a guy that’s going to score 20, 25 a game.”
Aldridge suggests that that the price for Anthony Davis has gone up as a result of the Durant injury. Durant could miss all of next season and with one fewer star available to suit up, the scarcity of those elite players in both the free agency and trade market may give added leverage to the Pelicans.
The Achilles injury won’t stop Durant from seeking a new deal. He’s long been expected to turn down his $31.5MM player option for next season, though with the injury, the decision is no longer a slam dunk. Durant officially has until June 29 to make a contractual move.