It shouldn’t take long for one of the top dominoes in the 2019 free-agent pool to let the NBA world know where he’s headed.
Kevin Durant is expected to announce his choice of team via his company-owned sports business network on Instagram call “the Boardroom,” reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Per Marc Stein, the incumbent Golden State Warriors are expected to offer Durant a max deal tonight, too.
Source: Kevin Durant will announce his free agent decision tonight on his company owned sports business network: https://t.co/ovJCDTOEMz
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
The Warriors will officially offer a five-year, $221 million max deal TO Kevin Durant at 6 PM ET tonight … and Golden State now knows it will get Durant’s decision tonight
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 30, 2019
News of Durant making his announcement via “the Boardroom” was also confirmed by Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Back in 2016, Durant was in a somewhat similar state as he was deciding which team to go to next. That summer, he announced his decision to go from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors via a post on The Players Tribune on July 4.
The former two-time Finals MVP and Kia MVP winner entered the offseason as perhaps the biggest name on the market alongside the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving, the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard and Durant’s Warriors teammate, Klay Thompson. He was long been expected to draw interest on the open market from a number of teams with salary cap room.
Durant suffered a ruptured right Achilles in Game 5 of The Finals and the timetable for his return date is unknown. He got hurt on a dribble on the right wing, coming up lame on a crossover move and falling to the floor. He grabbed the back of his leg, appeared to grab below the calf and more toward the Achilles area, and needed help to limp to the bench area and more help to get back to the Warriors’ locker room. Warriors forward Andre Iguodala was on Durant’s left side as they made the long walk back to the room, with Warriors GM Bob Myers and Curry in the group immediately behind them.
Players have made comebacks off Achilles surgery, with relative levels of success.
This is Durant’s first serious injury since the 2014-15 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, when a fracture in his right foot ultimately limited him to 27 games. In October of 2014, he suffered a “Jones fracture” in his foot and had surgery that sidelined him until December of that year. He played off and on for the next two months before he was shut down for the season to have a third surgery on the fractured bone in his foot.
Since joining the Warriors in the summer of 2016, Durant has been mostly healthy. He missed 19 straight games in his first season with Golden State because of a strained MCL in his left knee. He missed two first-round playoff games in 2017 as well because of a strained left calf muscle, but was healthy the rest of the way en route to his first Finals MVP honors and first NBA championship.
This season, Durant averaged 26 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. In the playoffs, he averaged 32.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 4.5 apg and 1 bpg.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.