More and more people see a scenario in which Kevin Durant could leave the Golden State Warriors during free agency this summer.
Owner Joe Lacob isn’t one of them.
From the The Mercury News‘ Mark Medina:
“For some reason, everyone thinks this year is different than last,” Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob told Bay Area News Group. “I don’t see that.” . . .
“It’s not even on my mind,” Lacob said. “There’s no more uncertainty this year than there was last. He’s been on a one-year deal each year. So I don’t really understand what all the hullabaloo is about.” . . .
“He loves being a part of our organization and being a part of the Bay Area,” Lacob said of Durant. “He’s earned the right to be a free agent or do whatever he wants in terms of contract status. I would let it play out and see what happens. I’m not too worried about it.”
Honestly, Lacob and the Warriors shouldn’t be too worried about Durant’s free agency. Worse comes to worst, he leaves and they still have the ability to re-sign Klay Thompson, extend Draymond Green and run back a thinner version of a pre-KD nucleus that won an NBA-record 73 games, earned two NBA Finals bids and secured one championship. Ipso facto, for the Warriors, losing Durant isn’t the end of the world.
Plus, there’s no guarantee he actually leaves. The speculation surrounding his desire to win a title on his own might be real. But he isn’t just going to up and join a crappy situation. If the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, et al. don’t show major progress or an ability to assemble some nice complementary talent, they become that much less appealing.
In the event he does leave, yes, there will be consequences. Durant is key to the Warriors extending their dynasty’s shelf. There’s no telling how well Green or Stephen Curry will age. Still, he’s not Golden State’s only star. This team doesn’t need to concern itself with the usual what-ifs attached to superstar flight risks. The Warriors have the luxury of All-NBA depth, with or without Durant.