Any story about the future of Kevin Durant has to start here: The man changes his mind. He is mercurial. Nothing is official until pen meets paper.
Or, look at it this way: Maybe Durant is thinking of leaving the Warriors right now, but what happens after another playoff run to a title, another finals MVP (maybe), when he reflects on how much he loves investing in Silicon Valley and being close to it, and when he dreams about opening the new Chase Center in San Francisco very close to where he lives in the city?
That’s a lot to walk away from, but the sense around the league is Durant is bolting the Bay Area for Manhattan this summer. The Knicks’ bold Kristaps Porzingis trade added fuel to that fire because now New York could sign KD and another max player (Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, others). Here is another report along those lines, this one from Ethan Strauss of The Athletic.
Insiders around the league think Kevin Durant is leaving the Warriors for the Knicks. Most people within the Warriors either think Durant is leaving or profess not to know one way or the other. His teammates recognize this reality, can handle it and merely want one outcome: Win a championship, absent too much drama.
Durant is not speaking to the media, about this or anything else. Of course, the Internet abhors a vacuum, so his silence is filled with speculation and rumors.
Ultimately the question is what does Durant want? If it’s money, he stays with Golden State (they can offer more than any other team). If it’s rings to count, then again leaving the Warriors makes little sense. Those two factors combined are why many fans are perplexed Durant wants to leave at all.
However, if it’s about carving out his own legacy, then the Knicks make sense. Whoever returns New York to prominence — especially if they can bring the Knicks their first title since 1973 — will have statues built to him outside Madison Square Garden. Durant has a Hall of Fame resume and legacy right now, but winning in New York would put it on another level.
The questions remain: What does Durant want? And will he still want the same things on July 1?
Only one person on the planet can answer those, and he’s not speaking to the media right now (and wouldn’t directly answer them anyway).