Pacific Notes: Durant, Thompson, Lakers’ DPE, Kings

Kevin Durant left the Warriors because he wasn’t able to find the family atmosphere he wanted, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Durant got the championships and individual awards he was seeking when he signed with Golden State three years ago, but as he indicated in a Wall Street Journal interview this week, he couldn’t be part of the organization in the same way that Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala were.

Poole notes that Durant was impressed by the closeness those four players displayed when they came to the Hamptons to recruit him in 2016. That influenced his decision, but he still felt like an outsider. He wasn’t drafted to the organization like Curry, Thompson and Green, and he wasn’t instrumental in the Warriors’ first title in 40 years the way that Iguodala was.

Poole adds that the family dynamic faded over Durant’s three years with Golden State as players spent more time with their actual families. The Currys had two more children, Iguodala got married and Green became more devoted to fatherhood. Green was a close friend for Durant in his first season with the team, but he hung out with DeMarcus Cousins more often last year.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Steve Kerr tells Joe Vardon of The Athletic that it’s going to be like “Year 1” as he guides a much different Warriors roster. While many key pieces are gone from the championship years, Kerr said surviving while Thompson heals from a torn ACL will be the biggest challenge. “Losing Kevin, Andre, Shaun (Livingston) obviously, those are huge losses,” he said. “Losing Klay on top of all that really changes the way we’re going to have to play at both ends. Klay was always an integral part of everything. Movement on offense, but also the guarding of the ballhandler on defense, switching onto bigs. So until he gets back, we’ve got to re-imagine everything and adapt accordingly.”
  • The Lakers are seeking a disabled player exception after Cousins’ injury, but it’s likely just a tool that may be used later in the season, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. There are few options who could make a difference at a $1.75MM salary, which is half of what Cousins is owed. However, minimum contracts decrease through the year, and the DPE will be more valuable once buyout season arrives.
  • Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic will be competing not just for minutes in the Kings‘ backcourt, but for contract extensions as well, notes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area.
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21 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Durant, Thompson, Lakers’ DPE, Kings

  1. ColossusOfClout

    The more Durant opens his mouth, the more he sounds like a crybaby. Just move on dude, no need to speak on it again.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      They traded him to Memphis, which shows how the Warriors lost so much more than just KD this summer. Losing two of their best defenders, plus Klay missing more than half of the season, will be devastating to Golden State’s defense. Draymond is their only shutdown guy left until Klay is healthy enough to play later in the season. Both Curry and Russell are much better on offense than they are on defense. That leaves Green responsible for defending almost every opponents best player in every single game, no matter what position they play.

      People act like they got a huge bargain with Draymond’s $100M extension, but he wasn’t nearly as good last season as he used to be. With such a weak supporting cast around him and Curry next season, both of them will be forced to play far more minutes than they’re used to. Curry has missed an average of 22 games over the last two seasons, and Draymond an average of 14 games, so they’re just asking for possibly serious injuries to both players if they try and push them too hard. Just look what happened with KD and Klay last year.

      • Not sure I agree with your read on the Warriors. Of course they’re not going to be as good as last year, missing a couple guys, but Kevon Looney is a fantastic big-man Defender and Willie cauley-stein will play D as well. So the four and the five spots have plus Defenders.

        On the wing Alec Burks is a great defender if he can stay healthy, fingers are crossed.

        And in the backcourt hopefully Curry and Russell will outscore the other team LOL.

        I think they made out like Bandits… while losing Durant for nothing would have been Oklahoma city- Ish.

        The warriors were able to get an All-Star 23 year old 20 pt per game guard. Not too shabby.

  2. Durant left because he wants to be the man. Warriors will always be Curry’s team. Durant wants to be the #1 reason a team wins. He has his chance now but the Warriors will be good without Durant.

    • amk3510

      Its Currys team but Durant was the #1 reason the Warriros had so much success in the last 3 years. Thinking otherwise is just downright delusional.

      • People throw around the delusional word so easily and often. The Warriors won the NBA Championship without Durant and then the next year they went to the finals…, without Durant.

        • southbeachbully


          Let me help you. The GSW won 1 series vs the Cavs without Love and Irving and then lost vs a healthy Cavs team. After that, you needed Durant to beat them again.

          Yes, the GSW won 73 games without Durant. But they couldn’t win the chip and this WENT TO HIM and asked HIM to join THEM. There…much better.

          • I understand what you’re saying. You’re absolutely correct. What I’m addressing is the word “delusional. To think Golden State was something great without Durant is delusional.”

            I disagree with that. I think my two examples make that perfectly clear.

        • amk3510

          It is absolutely delusional to look back on the last 3 years and say KD was not their #1 player. Without him they are 1-2 in the finals and the only win was when the Cavs had 2/3 stars out. 2-0 with him and he wslas Finals MVP both times. Oh and Curry suddenly stopped winning leauge MVPs when KD joined the team. The evidence is overwhelm yet the Warrior homers are convinced they wont miss a beat without him. Going to be very funny when the season starts and its proved wrong. Then they will flip to some other excuse

          • Fair enough you are correct but if you look at the last FIVE years to say the warriors were not a very, very good team, is not delusional. Don’t you agree?

            I’m saying the warriors were excellent before Durant arrived. That’s not delusional. They lost Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes from those teams and added Durant and became even better.

            So I believe that thinking Durant was 75% of the reason or even 50% of the reason the warriors were so good the last 3 years is wrong. That takes too much away from Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry and the role players like Draymond Green and Kevon Looney. I just disagree with you.

    • yoyo137

      Yeah NOW he wants to be the man. After joining the team with the best record ever and winning multiple championships NOW he wants to be the #1. With Irving as his #1B while he rehabs from the Achilles that will likely ruin the rest of his career. But he finally has a 4 year deal with financial security, right??

      • southbeachbully

        Did Durant go to them or did a squad of All-Stars go to him asking him to join them immediately after being beaten by the Cavs? Why do ppl act as if Durant were desperate to join them?

        • yoyo137

          Because he joined them. Instead of beating a group of downtrodden players desperately looking for help when his team was better than their team, he joined that team of All-Stars looking for their glass cannon. That is a loser move. It’s the kind of move a player who is not confident in their ability makes.

  3. Down with OBP

    Dude felt so outside the core family that him and his best friend joined a different organization— without even meeting with them. Can’t wait until I hear his thoughts when he looks back to his time with the Nets. Every time he leaves a place, he has a different gripe. Hopefully W fans *appreciate* him or he may cancel all his community work for kids in the area.

    • yoyo137

      The thing is that he actually will be appreciated by Dubs fans. Because he gave them everything he has. Which he wouldn’t do for the team who drafted and developed him.

  4. x%sure

    Didn’t know Durant hung out with Green until Cousins arrived… (Then the public shouting).
    Interesting “family” take by Poole. The family got families of their own, then Green pulled away.
    Hello New York

  5. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Even though Golden State still has their previous Big 3 of Curry, Klay, and Green (although Thompson is expected to miss about 55 games) this isn’t the same team they had 4 seasons ago before KD joined them.

    They still had Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Iguodala, Livingston, Speights, Barbosa, and Brandon Rush. Now they’re trying to replace those guys with D’Angelo Russell, WCS, Looney, McKinnie, Alec Burks, Jacob Evans, and Eric Paschall.

    That represents an enormous dropoff from the supporting talent they had during their 73-9 season. Combined with the loss of Klay Thompson for the majority of the season, the Warriors will be lucky just to win 50 games next season.

    • I agree with this post a little more. 50 wins would be in a major accomplishment, but I think they’re probably a five or six seed this year. I think Klay Thompson coming back that might even be a pessimistic prediction.

      Let’s go with four seed in the West for the Warriors at the end of the year.

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