Draymond Green: No way Kevin Durant signs with Warriors if Thunder beat them

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Kevin Durant said he wouldn’t have signed with the Warriors if they won the championship last season.

It seems they ate the just-right porridge in the playoffs.

That’s because, before losing to the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, Golden State beat Durant’s Thunder in the Western Conference finals.

Warriors forward Draymond Green, via The Vertical Podcast with Woj:

I think, if we lose that series, there’s no chance he comes here. So, that was some added incentive as well.

Green would have insight here. He recruited Durant throughout the season.

Though Green and Durant say they didn’t talk much during the playoffs, their relationship reportedly bothered other Thunder players. Durant excelled in their matchup, but it’s reasonable to wonder where his mind was during it. His closeness with the Warriors, especially considering he eventually chose them in free agency, opens the door to those questions.

But beyond scrutinizing Durant’s focus, credit Golden State for doing its part on the court. By winning three straight to close the series, the Warriors instilled doubt with Durant about his ability to win in Oklahoma City.

The optics of Durant joining the team that just eliminated him in the playoffs were inescapable. But that was always going to be an easier sell than luring Durant to a team he just beat.

So, Golden State ousting the Thunder was a huge piece in the puzzle of Durant’s free agency. But so was losing to the Cavaliers. If the Warriors did that to get Durant and contend for multiple titles in the coming years, that’d truly be light years ahead.