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SportHow will the 2019 NBA Finals impact Kevin Durant's free agency? The four scenarios in play

18:10  04 june  2019
18:10  04 june  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

Opinion: Vulnerable Warriors facing the biggest test of their dynasty

Opinion: Vulnerable Warriors facing the biggest test of their dynasty Injury-riddled and down 2-1, the Warriors are more vulnerable than ever. And getting back Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson doesn't guarantee anything.

How could the outcome of the 2019 NBA Finals impact Kevin Durant ' s decision this summer? Let' s run through a few possible scenarios . His ability (or inability) to play against the Raptors will have a huge impact on determining the result of the 2019 NBA Finals . It may also play into his future with

(0:00) Why this trip to the Finals is different (0:56) How his game has improved during the 2019 NBA playoffs (2:07) he makes sure KD feels included in the team while he' s injured (10:20) A deep dive into his public fight with KD (15:47) Durant ' s upcoming decision in 2019 NBA free agency (16:52)

How will the 2019 NBA Finals impact Kevin Durant's free agency? The four scenarios in play © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

The Warriors may have tied up the NBA Finals on Sunday night, but the play on the court is taking a backseat to what’s taking place in the training room.

For the entirety of the 2018-19 season, the chatter around Golden State kept coming back to the possibility of Kevin Durant’s final run in a Warriors uniform. From the early-season altercation with Draymond Green to Durant’s tense relationship with the media, this has mostly felt like a swan song, the last run by one of the greatest teams ever assembled.

MORE: DeMarcus Cousins was waiting for this Finals moment

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NBA free agency is set to officially start on Sunday, June 30 at 6 p.m. ET. The rumor mill is in full swing as speculation over where the Where will the chips fall once free agency opens up? Kevin Durant . Read More. Durant may have torn his Achilles tendon during this year' s Finals , but he' s one of the

How Kevin Durant ' s injury will impact the NBA ' s much-anticipated 2019 free agency . Reverberations of Kevin Durant ’ s Achilles injury will ripple well beyond those that shook the NBA The landscape of the league may be impacted for years to come, starting with the outcome of this

And then the injury happened. At the time, Durant’s calf strain, which came in the third quarter of Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, looked to be a death sentence for the Warriors. Their lack of depth made them ultra-reliable on Durant’s scoring in the playoffs. But Stephen Curry came alive, James Harden and the Rockets choked and the Trail Blazers didn’t have enough to win even one game in the Western Conference finals.

We now sit and wait as Durant feverishly attempts to rehab his strained calf and rejoin his teammates in their run at a three-peat. His ability (or inability) to play against the Raptors will have a huge impact on determining the result of the 2019 NBA Finals. It may also play into his future with free agency on the horizon.

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The entire NBA free agent landscape, including the outlook for the Brooklyn Nets this summer, changed when Kevin Durant went down with an Achilles injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals . After leaving Scotiabank Arena on crutches with a walking boot, Durant traveled to New York on Tuesday

How could the outcome of the Finals impact Durant's decision this summer?

Kevin Durant misses the NBA Finals; Warriors win without him

Don’t let anyone, including Durant himself, fool you into believing that this isn’t the worst-case scenario for Durant. It would be very damaging for his legacy.

Durant’s jump to Golden State was widely viewed as the former Thunder star taking the easy way out. He couldn't beat the Warriors with his roster in Oklahoma City, so he joined them. While two championships and two Finals MVPs for Durant validated his decision, there are still those who want to put an asterisk next to his rings.

He may do and say all the right things, but Golden State going on to three-peat without Durant would sting. It appears that he’s aware of how a Warriors championship with him in street clothes would change how he's viewed historically against some of the league's greatest players.

10 keys to winning the 2019 NBA Finals

10 keys to winning the 2019 NBA Finals The Toronto Raptors could play better than at any point in the history of the franchise and still get swept by the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals. That speaks to how intimidating and frightening the Warriors appear coming off their sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers. The reality is that this series could get ugly if both DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant prove merely useful over three or four games. Anybody actually believing the Warriors are better without Durant on the court should realize Toronto players and coaches are crossing fingers and toes hoping he won't feature, because his calf is worse than Golden State would have you believe ahead of Game 1.

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (35), center, chats with Golden State Warriors' Jordan Bell (2), left, and Golden State Warriors' Quinn Cook ( 4 ) during a practice session before Game 2 of the NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario on Saturday, June 1, 2019 .

Rachel Nichols, Brian Windhorst and Richard Jefferson discuss the situation surrounding Kevin Durant after his Golden State Warriors won Game 2 of the 2019

Was his addition necessary in order for Golden State to win the past two titles? Or was it simply a luxury? The questions about the validity of Durant’s rings will only grow louder in this scenario.

Durant may have no choice but to bolt for another challenge. It’s a situation that would be eerily similar to the path LeBron James took — win two rings in Miami by teaming up with two superstars, then leave to attempt to win one as the signature player for a franchise desperate for any kind of success. A Warriors ring means a Durant exit with New York as a likely landing spot.

Verdict: Durant leaves the Warriors.

Kevin Durant misses the NBA Finals; Warriors lose without him

or...

Kevin Durant returns mid-series; Warriors win with him

Are the Warriors more enjoyable to watch without Durant? Yes, but in no way does having the most lethal offensive force in the game sitting on the bench make the Warriors better.

Before the Warriors' Game 1 loss to the Raptors, Golden State was 30-1 when Durant sat and Curry played, but that loss illustrated just how badly the Warriors need Durant. The length of Toronto certainly affected the flow of the offense. The Warriors desperately needed the security that Durant brings to the floor. When the offense breaks down, just get the ball to Durant. He’s usually is able to bail them out.

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Warriors, Kevin Durant face reality he might not return in NBA Finals Kevin Durant injury update: It has been 30 days since the Warriors star strained his calf. The Warriors have a maximum of three games left.

Sam Amick, senior NBA write for The Athletic, joins the ABC10 sports team to preview Game 6 of the NBA Finals and Lina Washington and Sean Cunningham discuss the implications of Kevin Durant ' s Achilles rupture, the The Boardroom: Free Agency Frenzy with Kevin Durant & Stephen A Smith

The four scenarios in play . NBA Finals 2019 : Warriors part-owner Mark Stevens banned from games after shoving Raptors' Kyle Lowry.

If they lose without him or he is able to return and lead the Warriors to their third consecutive championship, it will prove once and for all that the Warriors needed him in order to go on their championship run. His doubters will be silenced, at least for a little while. Durant and the Warriors will also have a chance to do something that hasn’t been done since Bill Russell’s Celtics — win a fourth consecutive title.

But will the validation that a third ring would bring and the opportunity for a fourth be enough to make Durant’s return to Golden State more likely? Not exactly.

Durant has checked every box while in the Bay Area. There is nothing left that he hasn't already accomplished. Another championship with the Warriors might not be worth as much to him as turning around a struggling team and the fanfare that would come with it.

Plus, Durant saw the way his teammates played against Portland. He witnessed the renewed sense of joy that they brought to the court. The patented ball movement that made the Warriors of old so fun to watch was back in a big way.

Verdict: Durant leaves the Warriors, but he seriously considers chasing history.

Kevin Durant returns mid-series; Warriors lose with him

All great teams eventually get beat or break up. Michael Jordan’s Bulls disappeared with his retirement. Kobe and Shaq’s Lakers ran into the Pistons before an ugly divorce. We could be watching something very similar unfold.

If Durant’s return still isn’t enough for the Warriors to get past the Raptors, a logical endpoint would emerge for the Warriors-Durant relationship.

The Warriors won a title without Durant back in 2015, and with their core still in place, losing Durant doesn’t seem to be a major concern. Durant could walk off the floor at the end of the Finals proud of what he has done with Golden State but ready for a new challenge.

A loss to the Raptors ends the dynasty. The summer will bring questions about where the Warriors go from here. Durant leaving for New York or Los Angeles will be accepted. Klay Thompson will be a free agent. But at least we’ll get to see this group make one more run.

Verdict: Durant leaves the Warriors.

NBA Finals 2019: Draymond Green explains how Warriors adjust without Kevin Durant.
Green said he has to become more of a "scoring threat" when Durant isn't out on the court.

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