Kevin Durant to 'miss next season,' Steve Kerr says after NBA Finals loss

Kevin Durant to 'miss next season,' Steve Kerr says after NBA Finals loss

Everyone knew Kevin Durant would miss significant time because of his ruptured right Achilles.

The last handful of players who ruptured an Achilles have missed between 237 and 357 days, and with Durant suffering his injury at the end of the 2018-19 season, it was plausible that he'd miss the entire 2019-20 campaign.

After the Warriors lost Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors, coach Steve Kerr was asked about the "what ifs" surrounding how this season ended, and that's when he dropped this nugget about Durant.

"I mean, more than the what ifs is just feeling bad for the players involved," Kerr told reporters in Oakland. "Injuries are always part of the NBA season -- any professional sport, injuries play a huge role. It's just the nature of these injuries, the severity of these injuries.

"And we'll know more about Klay. But we can sit here and say, 'Well, if this hadn't happened or that hadn't happened' -- that doesn't matter. What matters is Kevin Durant is going to miss next season with an Achilles tear, and Klay suffered a knee injury. And we'll know, as I said, we'll know more before too long.

"But it's just brutal. It's just brutal of what these guys have had to deal with, and what they're dealing with right now. So, that's my initial feeling."

Durant announced Wednesday that he underwent surgery on his right Achilles.

[RELATED: Klay's emotional message to KD]

No one knows where Durant will sign this offseason, but whichever team lands him will do it knowing that he will miss a majority, if not all, of the 2019-20 season. If you're signing Durant, you're signing him for 2020-21.

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell is rapidly approaching a date some NBA observers have circled since the Warriors acquired him this summer.

Golden State can trade Russell as soon as Sunday, Dec. 15, and the 23-year-old has been the source of trade speculation during his time in the Bay Area. The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported Wednesday, citing sources that the Minnesota Timberwolves "remain interested in Russell" and that the guard "seems to be realistic in understanding that he may not be long for the Warriors once Steph Curry and Klay Thompson return to full health."

Russell is averaging a career-high 22.4 points per game this season to go with 6.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds, serving as the top offensive option in the absence of his All-Star teammates. He knew he wouldn't play much with Thompson this season as he recovers from a torn ACL, but Curry's broken hand threw a wrench into the Warriors' -- and thus Russell's -- prospects this season. Warriors coach Steve Kerr praised how Russell has handled the rumors surrounding him. 

"Money doesn't buy peace of mind," Kerr said Friday morning (H/T San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau). "It doesn't buy a sense of belonging, a sense of, 'Alright, this is my team.' If there's speculation that you're going to be traded all the time, I don't care how much money you make, I don't care who you are. That's tough. That's no fun to deal with, and this season has been nowhere close to what D'Angelo thought it would be when he first signed with us.

"There's no Steph. We're struggling to win games. He's had his own injuries, and we're throwing all kinds of different lineups out there based on the other injuries we've faced." 

Russell has played in just 15 of the Warriors' 27 games this season, playing on a team that looks far more like the Los Angeles Lakers of his first two seasons than the playoff-contending Brooklyn Nets a year ago -- let alone the reigning Western Conference champion Warriors. 

[RELATED: How Warriors' Chriss earning chance to start at center]

Kerr, who entered this season with the highest winning percentage in NBA history (.785), is as aware of Golden State's dramatically different reality as anyone. He said it has only brought out the best in Russell. 

"So given all that, he's played really well, and he's been a great teammate and he's doing everything he needs to do to solidify his position here," Kerr continued. "But this is the NBA here, and we never know what's coming, what's happening. So, it's a difficult position to be in in general, but for him in particular it's strange set of circumstances and he's handling it really well." 

Whether or not the Warriors trade Russell, it's clear Kerr holds him in high regard.

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Warriors two-way guard Ky Bowman made his G League debut Friday night in Santa Cruz.

He dominated the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. 

The Boston College product could have scored 40 points if he really wanted to, but he picked his spots and made sure his teammates were getting good looks.

After shootaround in Utah on Friday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked what Bowman can work on while he's with the Sea Dubs.

"He's got a really aggressive mindset -- which I like -- but there are still circumstances and situations where he needs to think more pass," Kerr said. "And more strategic, rather than just score, score, score."

Bowman clearly listened to the eight-time NBA champion.

[RELATEDWhy Dubs might be very active before, after trade deadline]

Also, "Sky Bowman" was on full display.

The 22-year-old will be back in action Sunday afternoon as Santa Cruz faces the Northern Arizona Suns. Watch the game at 2:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram