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Could Kevin Durant leave the Golden State Warriors just because?
It sounds far-fetched, but not if you ask longtime Warriors insider Marcus Thompson.
“Man, KD out,” Thompson said during an appearance on San Francisco’s KNBR Radio. “I feel like he is gone. … It does have that vibe, like, ‘This is it. This could be it right here.’”
Thompson now writes for The Athletic and as a former beat reporter, has been dialed in to the Warriors for some time. He wondered during his KNBR spot if Durant will seek a new challenge should the Warriors win a third straight championship, as they are favored to do.
“Here’s the hard part with KD — we don’t know what he wants,” Thompson said. “I don’t know that he knows what he wants. But I know the Warriors don’t know fully what he wants. Is it a championship, supremacy, is it to be the ace?”
The Warriors have made four straight appearances in the Finals, all against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors have won three.
James is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers — a move that puts his streak of eight straight Finals appearances in serious jeopardy. He now will have to beat Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and the Warriors in the West for a Finals return.
But some around the league feel James may be starting a new trend among the league’s best players. Rather than jumping teams to win championships, the theory goes, perhaps players will now start chasing challenges.
“It feels like he has gotten everything he could possibly get from the Warriors, and it’s still not 100 percent like he wants to be here,” Thompson said of Durant. “If it was like a relationship, like, ‘Look, man. I gave you all I got. You still looking — you might as well just go.’ That’s how it feels.”
Durant surprised the basketball-loving world when he bolted the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors in the summer of 2016. A few months before that, the Thunder had built a 3-1 lead over the Warriors in the Western Conference finals, before losing three straight.
In his two seasons with the Warriors, Durant has averaged 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists, shooting 52.5 percent from the floor. He has been named Finals MVP in each of the past two seasons.
He is due to become a free agent in July 2019.
Several national reporters, including Yahoo Sports insider Chris Haynes, speculated that the New York Knicks may have a shot to lure Durant in free agency next summer.