Warriors

Kevin Durant chooses Warriors over Thunder

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Kevin Durant chooses Warriors over Thunder

Their long weekend of feverish persuasion and high anxiety paid off: The Warriors have convinced free agent forward Kevin Durant to come to the Bay Area.

Durant agreed Monday to leave Oklahoma City, where he spent the first nine seasons of his career, to become a member of the Warriors, who in winning a six-team race for the 2014 MVP will realize a dream they’ve had for at least two years.

Durant made the announcement via the Players Tribune website.

“The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction,” Durant wrote. “But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth. With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.”

[RATTO: Durant, Warriors can be one of NBA's most transcendent bullies]

Though Durant can’t officially sign a contract before 9:01 p.m. (PDT) Wednesday – the four-time scoring champion has agreed to a two-year maximum deal at $54.3 million – choosing the Warriors is a mild surprise.

The general belief was that the 6-foot-10 forward would return to the Thunder, a legitimate championship contender able to offer the most attractive contract.

The Warriors were, however, considered the biggest threat to OKC and were relentless in their pursuit, sending a seven-man commission to New York for a three-hour meeting Friday with Durant and his representatives. Players Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green joined coach Steve Kerr, general manager Bob Myers and CEO Joe Lacob.

Team executive – and NBA legend – Jerry West reportedly phoned Durant on Saturday to close the deal.

Durant began his vetting process Thursday by meeting with Thunder executives in OKC before flying to New York and, along with his representatives from Roc Nation, greeting potential suitors.

After meeting with the Warriors on Friday morning, the group met with the Clippers (Friday afternoon) and Spurs (Saturday morning) and Celtics (Saturday afternoon) and Heat (Sunday morning). The Thunder reportedly had one more visit with Durant on Sunday afternoon.

With Durant agreeing to sign, the Warriors can rescind qualifying offers to Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, allowing them to become unrestricted free agents. Barnes reportedly is in line to get an offer from the Mavericks.

To sign Durant to a four-year deal that begins at $26.6 million per year, the Warriors also will make additional roster moves, something they’ve already sketched out, according to NBA sources.

The Warriors have been hoping to lure Durant to Oakland since at least 2014 and nothing really changed in the interim. Turning 28 in September, he’s six months younger than Curry and should be in his prime. Durant is the league’s most dangerous frontcourt scorer, capable of driving into the paint or drilling from deep.

By adding Durant, the Warriors have four legitimate All-Stars (Curry, Thompson and Green are the others) and have the most explosive starting lineup in the league.

Durant’s decision to come west will require considerable roster maneuvering and salary shedding by the Warriors, who surely will lose restricted free agent forward Harrison Barnes (probably to Dallas), likely will lose restricted free agent center Festus Ezeli and will consider trading center Andrew Bogut.
 

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from Warriors' tough loss to Spurs

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from Warriors' tough loss to Spurs

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO - Following back-to-back solid performances against Houston and Oklahoma City, the Warriors couldn't find their shot in a 111-105 loss to the Spurs on Monday night. 

Despite a late run to get within four points with two minutes left, a late flurry from DeMar DeRozan sealed the win for San Antonio. 

The loss snaps a two-game winning streak, and with a road game against Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, makes the reality of a 2-2 trip all the more possible

Here are three takeaways from the game. 

No 'Splash' from the Brothers

In a game that begged for offense, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had a hard time providing it. 

Curry finished with 25 points on 9-of-25 from the field, missing a number of shots down the stretch that could have kept the Warriors in the game.

[WATCH: Curry banks in buzzer-beater]

Meanwhile, Thompson, who came into Monday night rolling, made just five of his 18 shots on the night. 

Entering Monday evening, Thompson had been averaging 30 points on 50 percent from the field over his last four games. A good shooting performance from Klay would have helped the Warriors' cause. 

Andrew Bogut's return

After being summoned due to DeMarcus Cousins' sore right ankle, Bogut started his second tour of duty in Golden State in an appropriate fashion, committing an offensive foul after setting an illegal screen to free up Curry. 

Following the foul, Bogut gave the Warriors solid play, finishing with seven points, seven rebounds and a steal in 19 minutes. 

The offense seemed to flow well when Bogut was on the floor, giving a glimpse of what the Warriors can expect if Bogut can recapture his play from his previous tenure in the Bay Area. 

Warriors couldn't stop fouling

The Warriors needed to be disciplined on Monday, but they committed 20 fouls on the night, including a momentum-stopping foul from Kevin Durant on Marco Belinelli in the fourth quarter that led to a four-point play. 

For a team that's trying to turn the tide on a subpar second half of the season, unnecessary fouls aren't conducive to that goal.

Watch Andrew Bogut make return to Warriors and make immediate impact

Watch Andrew Bogut make return to Warriors and make immediate impact

Who doesn’t love some nostalgia?

Andrew Bogut officially is back on the Dubs and his return was felt instantly … kind of

Bogut, who hasn't played for the Warriors since 2016, got the last-minute start with Boogie Cousins on the shelf for Monday night’s game vs. San Antonio.

He won the tip and instantly got charged for an illegal screen (in typical Bogut fashion).

About a minute later, Bogut *actually* made an impact with a nice alley-oop from Steph.

And again …

[RELATED: Bogut delivers funny sound bites before Warriors debut]

Ahh, just like the old days.