NBA Free Agency

Kevin Durant 'faded from group' in last Warriors season, Steve Kerr says

Kevin Durant 'faded from group' in last Warriors season, Steve Kerr says

Almost no one was shocked when Kevin Durant elected to leave the Warriors this summer, choosing the Brooklyn Nets as the team to further his basketball career.

That includes Warriors head coach Steve Kerr -- who found out KD had left the Warriors while on a beach in Hawaii.

On the latest episode of "Posted Up with Chris Haynes," Kerr told the Yahoo! Sports NBA insider that he could feel Durant retracting from the team during his final season with the Dubs.

"We could just feel it last year," Kerr told Haynes. "He sort of faded from the group by the end of the year. Sometimes you just have a feeling about things. We never discussed his free agency. That wasn't my business, even though I was his coach. I was focused on that season and I wanted our whole team to focus on that season and that was every effort of our staff went into whatever team we were playing. Whatever a player does in free agency is up to him, so I totally respected Kevin's right to make a new path for himself in life.

"The main thing right now is we all want him to be healthy and to get back to the great player he is. He gave so much to our organization, helped bring us two titles, two Finals MVPs. Just an unbelievable player. The whole Bay Area is grateful for what he did for us."

[RELATED: Giannis dodges question about Warriors fans wearing his jersey]

It became apparent earlier on last season that Durant's impending free agency likely would end with him leaving town. Durant got into the much-discussed argument with Draymond Green during a game against the Los Angeles Clippers, and he lashed out at The Athletic's Ethan Strauss over a column he wrote about Durant's upcoming decision. 

Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors and then headed for Brooklyn.

How seven former Warriors are playing for their new teams this season

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AP

How seven former Warriors are playing for their new teams this season

Following a complete roster overhaul and an absurd amount of injuries, the 2019-20 Warriors hardly are recognizable compared to the past few years.

The only remaining players on the roster from a team that went to the NBA Finals last season are Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Jacob Evans III and Damion Lee. Of the players that had moved on from the Warriors from last season, many of them have not seen any basketball action for various reasons.

That list includes Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins. Let's check in on the former Warriors who are currently playing basketball:

Quinn Cook: 14.6 mpg, 5.2 ppg, 41% FG, 32% 3FG, 1.8 apg

Cook moved on to the Los Angeles Lakers, as part of an improved bench to support the star-studded squad. So far in this young season, Cook has struggled to find consistency. After averaging 21 minutes per game in October, his playing time has fallen considerably to about 12 minutes in November.

Excluding two games where he combined to go 5-for-8 from long distance, Cook has struggled to find his shooting stroke from deep, making only four of his 20 3-point shots in all the other games combined. As Warriors fans know, Cook can be streaky at times, so more likely than not, he will grow accustomed to his new team and end up contributing primarily with his normally efficient shot.

Alfonzo McKinnie: 10.4 mpg, 3 ppg, 41% FG, 50% 3FG, 2.1 rpg

Zo was a late-cut for the Warriors once the team needed to find a roster spot for Marquese Chriss, and he quickly was scooped up on waivers by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The small forward started the season completely out of the rotation, but has since seen his role grow considerably.

A couple games ago, McKinnie played 30 minutes and scored 14 points while going 3-for-6 from deep. Last season with the Warriors, McKinnie started red-hot out the gate, and then injuries and inefficient shooting derailed his overall play as the year went along.

He will try to improve on his consistency in a growing role with the Cavs.

Jordan Bell: 8.3 mpg, 4 ppg, 53% FG, 3.7 rpg

Bell only has played six games so far this season as he has dealt with injuries throughout training camp and into the first weeks of the season. His minutes mostly have come in garbage time situations for the Timberwolves, but he has performed well in his limited playing time.

It will be hard for him to crack the rotation for a team that has a solid frontcourt, but Bell has the potential to be an electrifying bench piece if given the right set of circumstances.

Damian Jones: 16.9 mpg, 6.2 ppg, 66% FG, 3.6 rpg, .8 bpg

Out of all the bench pieces that currently are playing, the Warriors might miss Jones the most to start the season. In five of the 13 games he has played, Jones has shown off his normal athletic, bouncy talents for the Hawks. He even has hit two of four shots from 3-point range this season.

In November, he is averaging nearly 20 minutes per game and his playing time is rising. The Warriors also are happy with Omari Spellman, whom they acquired for Jones, and it seems like it has been a win-win trade for each team.

Marcus Derrickson: (G League) 26.6 mpg, 15 ppg, 45% FG, 33% 3FG, 6.3 rpg

The former Warriors two-way player has played four games for the College Park Skyhawks of the NBA G League. The 6-foot-7 power forward out of Georgetown will try to earn his way back to the NBA, and will have to do so by being a small stretch-four that can hit shots from deep consistently.

Jonas Jerebko: (EuroLeague) 19 mpg, 8.9 ppg, 50% FG, 36% 3FG, 3.3 rpg

After playing so well to start the season for the Warriors, Jerebko's game fell off considerably in the second half. After not receiving any NBA offers of his liking, Jerebko instead went overseas to Moscow and now plays for Khimki of the EuroLeague. 

[RELATED: Barnes details 'We Believe' Dubs' party after upsetting Mavs]

Andrew Bogut: (NBL Australia) 22.8 mpg, 7.9 ppg, 52% FG, 10.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg

Bogut returned to the NBA to help a depleted Warriors team compete in the playoffs last season after playing 28 games for the Sydney Kings in Australia. He returned back to his homeland to play for the Kings this season, and will have the option once their season is done to get picked up by an NBA team yet again.

With the Warriors in a rebuilding year, it is highly unlikely there will be a reunion this season.

Kevin Durant admits Draymond Green incident factored in his Warriors exit

Kevin Durant admits Draymond Green incident factored in his Warriors exit

Warriors fans always will remember Kevin Durant's time with their team. They'll remember the two NBA championships and three consecutive trips to the Finals.

They'll also remember Nov. 12, 2018.

That was the date of a 121-116 overtime loss to the Clippers that dropped the Warriors to 11-3 on the season. And while the 14th game of the season typically doesn't make or break a team, in this case, it might have broken a dynasty.

Kevin Durant and Draymond Green got into a verbal altercation on the Warriors' bench at the end of regulation after Green decided to attempt a potential game-winning shot instead of passing the ball to Durant. Sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole one day later that Green crossed the line by bringing up KD's impending free agency. Warriors general manager Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr even decided to suspend Green without pay for one game. 

On Thursday, Durant, who left the Warriors to sign with the Nets in free agency, spoke on the significance of his incident with his former teammate.

"A little bit, yeah. For sure," Durant said on ESPN's "First Take" when asked if the altercation played a role in him leaving Golden State. "When your teammate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit. ... Definitely, for sure. I'm not gonna lie about it."

Green initially resented the Warriors' decision to suspend him. He felt the front office had taken KD's side and, in return, betrayed someone who had won three championships for them.

What bothered Green the most, however, was knowing he put an ugly stain on his relationship with Durant.

"The thing that bothered me most was I lost his trust," Green said on "The Woj Pod" on Oct. 23. "How do I get that back? Not so we can win a championship or we can win some games -- but I actually loved this guy, that's really my brother. And so not knowing what's next in our relationship bothered me way more."

When Durant expounded on the squabble Thursday, he said the verbal fight played right into all the outside noise surrounding the Warriors. It was the last thing they needed as a team.

And he's not wrong. The Warriors were one of the most-watched and scrutinized sports teams ever. Any crack in the armor was catnip for their critics.

"Yeah, I wish that wouldn't have happened," Durant said. "I feel like that was a situation that definitely could have been avoided. It really came out of nowhere. For us, everybody was just looking for something to tear us down with, and I think they used that. ... It opened up a lot of nonsense.

"I think it could have been avoided, and me and Draymond talked about it."

[RELATED: Steph suffering broken hand was 'tough' for KD to see]

The past is the past. The Warriors now live in a reality where Kevin Durant is a Net, Klay Thompson is unlikely to play this season as he rehabs a torn ACL, and Steph Curry just broke his hand.

Nov. 12, 2018. It's a day that forever will live in Warriors infamy.

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