Fresh off of his second-straight NBA Finals MVP award, Kevin Durant made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday.
Some of the topics that were discussed included LeBron James potentially joining the Warriors, JR Smith’s blunder in Game 1 and the future of the franchise.
“I just don’t think it’ll happen,” Durant stated regarding the possibility of LeBron ending up in Golden State. “I don’t want to go there. Somebody’s listening, (they’re) going to write something. I don’t know, I’ll stay on my side.”
KD kept quiet on the LeBron speculation but admitted that he had a good feeling that the Finals were over after Smith made his embarrassing opening-game gaffe.
Since the superstar forward already stated his desire to return to the team (despite the fact that he will opt out of the second year of his one-and-one deal), the team’s entire core will stay in tact (at least for next season). But, with a slew of veterans (Nick Young, Zaza Pachulia, David West and JaVale McGee) and younger role players (Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw) becoming free agents, the supporting cast could end up being entirely different.
When asked what type of player the Warriors are looking to attract this summer, Durant offered the following statement.
The perfect signing
“I think a lot of players might be afraid to come play for us,” he said. “That backlash is a lot. I don’t know if guys are ready for that. … My pitch for every free agent: You might get some backlash, but you might get one of these.”
Although there’s a chance that all of the players above could return, the team might have to re-tool via the draft and free agency. Therefore, it’s imperative that whoever signs with the club understands that he will have a target on his back.
It’s important to understand that Durant might have the most biased perspective possible on the topic, however. Ever since he made the decision to leave Russell Westbrook behind in Oklahoma City, he experienced a great deal of backlash. That may or may not be related to simply being a member of the Warriors.
Despite the threat of losing some personal fans, there are most likely a large number of veterans out there who would gladly do anything to win their first ring. Taking a couple million fewer dollars could be worth it for the title-driven veterans who are mentally strong.