NBA rumors: Kevin Durant's absence causing Warriors 'confusion, angst'

NBA rumors: Kevin Durant's absence causing Warriors 'confusion, angst'

The Kevin Durant cloud is hanging over the Warriors. It's not about his free-agency decision this time, but rather his health during the biggest part of the season. 

Durant now has been out for over a month after straining his right calf on May 8 against the Rockets in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. And with so many other beat up Warriors pushing through injuries to play in The Finals, there reportedly was a real hope that Durant would do the same in Game 4 against the Raptors. 

Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Sunday morning that Durant's long absence "is causing a mixture of confusion and angst" among a handful of his teammates. 

After losing Game 4 105-92 to fall into a three-games-to-one series hole, the Warriors will look to stave off elimination in Monday's Game 5 in Toronto. Question marks surrounding Durant's return have taken their own spotlight as a dynasty might be crumbling before our eyes. 

[RELATED: Factors to consider as Dubs try to mount Finals comeback]

But there's no magic solution to getting the two-time NBA Finals MVP back on the court. The decision ultimately comes down to trainer Rick Celebrini. Two sources also told Amick that the Warriors have believed for a while that Game 5 was the earliest Durant could return.

With or without Durant, the Warriors have plenty of other questions to answer first to keep their season alive.

NBA rumors: Warriors' Kevon Looney possible Rockets free-agent target

NBA rumors: Warriors' Kevon Looney possible Rockets free-agent target

Warriors big man Kevon Looney will become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday. And unlike last summer, Golden State will have to give the 23-year-old more than the minimum to re-sign him.

There will be a market for Looney, and the Houston Rockets are expected to be a suitor.

As Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote on Tuesday night:

As it stands, [the Rockets] have no cap room and are limited to the midlevel exception (annual salary starting at $5.7 million).

A source with knowledge of the Rockets’ plans said Danny Green, Jeremy Lamb, Al-Farouq Aminu, DeAndre Jordan, Brook Lopez and Kevon Looney are also possible targets.

The Dubs have Looney's full bird rights and can give him a max contract if they wanted. That obviously won't be happening, but the point is they aren't limited financially in terms of what they can offer like they were last summer.

In Golden State's memorable Game 6 win in Houston last month, Looney recorded 14 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 20 minutes.

The No. 30 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft sustained a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture on the right side of his chest during Game 2 of the Finals in Toronto. His expected recovery time is six to eight weeks, which means Looney should be at full strength when training camp opens up in late September.

You should expect the Warriors to make it a priority to re-sign him.

“Looney has become one of our foundational pieces," Golden State head coach Steve Kerr told reporters on May 22.

And now, they're going to have to show him the money.

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Kevin Durant all smiles roaming around New York after Achilles surgery


Kevin Durant all smiles roaming around New York after Achilles surgery

Kevin Durant isn't expected to play in any NBA games next season, but he's not letting that dampen his mood.

Nearly two weeks after having surgery to repair his right Achilles tendon, Durant is up and roaming around New York City with the assistance of a knee walker.

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A post shared by Tony Durant (@tdurant) on

Tony Durant, Kevin's brother, posted that image Tuesday evening of them walking around SoHo.

Immediately after the Golden State Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals, Durant flew to New York City and had Dr. Martin O'Malley perform the Achilles surgery.

With the start of free agency just days away, rumors have started swirling about Durant's mindset as he approaches his big decision.

On Monday, Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher reported that Durant was "pissed" with the Warriors for their role in his injury. But a day later, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there is no such rift between Durant and the Warriors.

[RELATED: Two teams have backed off Durant]

Based on the new image, Durant appears to be in good spirits.

We'll find out in the next few days if Durant will bring that smile back to the Bay Area for the next five years, or if it will stay in New York City for the next four.