Warriors

Warriors

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. P.T., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Warriors fans aren't going to like this, but it's hard to hide from the latest information surrounding Kevin Durant's impending free agency. 

As Marc Stein of The New York Times writes:

The threat of the Knicks persuading Durant to leave one of the most dominant teams in league history has never felt more real to the Warriors themselves.

This appears to be a new development because, in late October, Anthony Slater of The Athletic wrote:

The Warriors in zero way fear the Knicks in these sweepstakes. Durant may decide to go to New York in July. They know that. The buzz is legitimate. The connections are there. His business manager, Rich Kleiman, is a New York-based Knicks fan with dreams of working in their front office one day. Royal Ivey, perhaps Durant’s best friend, is on David Fizdale’s coaching staff.

But in all aspects of basketball success and organizational management, the areas in which the Warriors can control, they are superior.

But unfortunately for the Warriors, Durant's decision is completely out of their control. While Golden State can offer him the most money, dollars might not be a top priority for the reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP, who left about $15 million on the table the last two summers.

It's safe to assume the threat "has never felt more real" to the Warriors because of last week's Kristaps Porzingis trade that opened the necessary salary-cap space for the Knicks to sign two max-level free agents in July.

Additionally, an NBA executive told Howard Beck of Bleacher Report that he believes "the Knicks have already been told Durant is coming."

The reality is that speculation will continue for the next five months, and there will be some twists and turns. As the Warriors look to three-peat, hopefully their fans can just enjoy the ride.

 

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller