When Kevin Durant went down with an injury during Game 5, the focus — rightfully so — was on his well-being and the rest of the NBA Finals.
But a day later, and with Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Meyers announcing it’s an Achilles injury, that focus has shifted to this summer.
Durant has a player option on his contract for the 2019-20 season, which he was widely expected to decline prior to last night’s setback. Now, things aren’t as certain.
Bovada’s odds on where Durant will land this summer have shifted drastically since he went down.
Prior to last night, Bovada had the New York Knicks as -300 favorites to ink Durant this summer, with the Warriors (+385) and Brooklyn Nets (+1300) falling behind.
The order hasn’t changed, but the prices have. The Knicks are now -175 while the Warriors have moved up to +210. The Clippers have also moved into the picture at +500 while the Nets are still a distant fourth at +700. The Lakers are the only other team on the board at +750.
The shift in the odds likely comes with the expectation that Durant will miss nearly the entire 2019-20 season. It’s possible he could opt into the last year of his deal with the Warriors — worth $31.5 million — and then hit free agency next summer.
However, Durant would still likely be offered the max by any team, so it may not have changed much. Signing a longterm deal with a club would take some pressure off his lengthy rehab process.
Durant’s landing spot could also impact several other top free agents, including Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and many more.
NBA free agency is set to open on June 30.