Two playoff teams apparently have dropped out of the race to sign Kevin Durant out of concerns about the ruptured Achilles tendon suffered by the Warriors’ impending free agent.
Both the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers have backed off on pursuing Durant, an NBA executive told the Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher. Neither the Clippers nor the 76ers want to spend more than $30 million on a max contract to have Durant sit out the season as both feel as though they can be serious contenders, Bucher reported.
However, the Nets — like the Warriors and a number of other teams — are not letting his recent Achilles surgery deter their chase of Durant. The Nets, according to the New York Times, are working to recruit Knicks free-agent center DeAndre Jordan, a close friend of Durant’s, to Brooklyn as a way to help convince Durant to sign there once free agency begins June 30.
And, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported Friday, the Nets are certainly growing more confident they can sign Durant. The Nets would also like to pair Durant with another of his close friends, All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
We should also mention the Knicks are also mindful of using Jordan as a means to wooing Durant. Jordan enjoyed his time with the Knicks after getting dealt there from Dallas last season — his strong numbers in 19 included 10.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.1 blocks. He liked it so much that he turned down the Knicks’ offer of a buyout so Jordan could pursue another team.
With Monday’s news that Durant isn’t “really happy” with the Warriors in light of their handling of his calf injury and subsequent Achilles injury, a return to Golden State may be less of a certainty than ever. Then again, as Bucher’s report detailed, it’s hard to figure out what Durant may do.
“Whatever Kevin is planning to do,” one league executive who has a long history with Durant told Bleacher Report, “he is going to change his mind at least 25 times before he actually does it.”
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