Warriors

NBA rumors: Two teams have 'backed off' Kevin Durant pursuit due to Achilles

NBA rumors: Two teams have 'backed off' Kevin Durant pursuit due to Achilles

NBA free agency officially will kick off Sunday, and most of the free-agent crop likely will await the decision of one Kevin Durant before choosing their next move.

The Warriors' star forward ruptured his Achilles during Game 5 of Golden State's NBA Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors and will miss all of next season as he rehabs what could be a career-altering injury.

While it has been reported that the injury won't affect Durant's free agency, a couple of would-be suitors reportedly have dialed back their interest following the injury, Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher reported Monday.

"One league executive said the Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, who were both at one point interested, have backed off their pursuit because they are focused on building off their playoff success this past season," Bucher writes.

Durant's options always have appeared to be between staying with the Warriors or leaving for the bright lights of New York -- whether it be the Knicks or the Brooklyn Nets -- so perhaps this is more of two teams realizing they had zero shot at the two-time NBA Finals MVP, and therefore are best served by moving on to other targets.

[RELATED: Report: KD 'really pissed' at Warriors entering free agency]

With the Clippers and 76ers reportedly out of the picture, that leaves three teams with a realistic shot at landing Durant. Although, if you ask Andre Iguodala, the Knicks and Nets should just give up their dreams of landing the 2014 NBA MVP.

Golden State has a big decision on its hands when it pertains to Durant, and the Warriors reportedly have discussed the possibility of orchestrating a "delayed sign-and-trade" with Durant. The idea is to give Durant the max contract, allow him to rehab and then trade him where he wants to play, which would allow the Dubs to acquire assets for one of the NBA's best players, should he inform them that he wants to leave.

Many free agency dominoes are set to fall this summer, and Durant's decision should be the first one in a wild summer.

Steve Kerr uses Twitter to laugh at Warriors' season of adversity

Steve Kerr uses Twitter to laugh at Warriors' season of adversity

Steve Kerr lost 39 regular-season games over his first three seasons as the Warriors' head coach. This season alone they have 43 losses before the NBA All-Star break. 

Even with the departure of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson rehabbing his torn ACL, nobody saw Golden State falling this far in their first season at Chase Center. Two college basketball coaching legends are in the same boat as Kerr this season. 

Roy Williams and Muffet McGraw are not used to losing. So when McGraw tweeted out a picture of herself and Williams on Monday, she hilariously tagged Kerr to be a part of their support group for former champions. 

Kerr had the perfect response. 

McGraw, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2017, is in her 33rd season as the head coach for Notre Dame's women's basketball team. She's a two-time national champion, and the Fighting Irish entered the season with 16 losses in their last five seasons combined. 

They're 10-16 this season entering Tuesday. 

Williams, who was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2007, is a three-time national champion who also is experiencing a season he certainly isn't used to. The young North Carolina Tar Heels also are 10-16 this season. They sit last in the ACC and are just 3-12 in conference play.

[RELATED: Steph was pumped after Giannis' All-Star block on LeBron]

And then there's Kerr. The Warriors have the worst record in the NBA right now at 12-43. Kerr's star, Steph Curry, has only played four games this season after breaking his hand on Oct. 30. Golden State has more G League players than star players on the court as they look to reload next season. 

For such a disappointing season, Kerr seems to always have the right response with the perfect amount of humor.

What frustrated Kevin Durant most about past feud with Draymond Green

What frustrated Kevin Durant most about past feud with Draymond Green

Yes, we're still talking about the on-court feud between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green when the two were Warriors teammates last season. Actually, Durant still is talking about it. 

The in-game spat that occurred at the end of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers in November 2018, resulted in Green calling KD a "b--ch." KD appeared to say, "That's why I'm out." 

Durant, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency last offseason, revealed on a recent episode of Showtime's "All the Smoke" podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson that he knew halfway through the 2018-19 season that he was leaving the Warriors

"I knew just about the halfway point through the year," Durant said. "I could feel, you know, the separation between the two. Everybody was just waiting on me to make a decision on free agency -- coaches, to my teammates, to the media -- it's like January and I'm like, 'Yo, I'm just trying to hoop.'"

Durant also went into full detail about what happened between him and Green. Draymond did receive a one-game suspension without pay for his actions, but KD clearly has issues with how Golden state handled the situation.

Here's Durant's in-depth explanation of what transpired (H/T NBC Sports' Dan Feldman). 

That play happened. I was going to grab the rebound. He came and grabbed it. I’m thinking he’s just going to toss it to me, and we’re going to run up court, and I’m going to shoot the shot.

Everybody knew that, and we all figured that would happen. And then when it didn’t, I was kind of shocked. And then I was just, “Whoa, Dray. Let me see that.” Like, “What you doing?” Then he turned it over. And I’m just so confused at that point, because he never, ever did nothing like that before. And everybody on the bench was confused, too. And then when we came back, I just heard him screaming. And I was like, “Hold up.” He’s usually screaming when he comes back to the bench. But what is he saying? Then, he started going off. And I’m just like -- maybe it’s because I was f---ing pissed that he didn’t give me the rock. Because I didn’t say nothing. It was just in my body language. I was just clapping and like, “F--k.”

Then, he started coming off the top with all of that stuff. And I’m just thinking, “Draymond is actually my friend, somebody I can call when I’m going through anything.” Like, “Yo, bro, come through.” Like, “Damn, bro, let’s hang out tonight.” And for him to say that type of s--t to me just threw me for a loop. And I just started isolating myself after that, because I didn’t feel -- they suspended Draymond. But it was just like they had to so it wouldn’t look bad to everybody else. And then nobody talked to me about it or really – we never really came to an agreement. We didn’t voice our opinion -- nobody as a whole -- because it happened in front of the whole team, and nobody really talked about it. It was just swept under the rug. And to me, it was just like, we a family. We’re supposed -- even if he said that, we can move past it. But let’s all talk about it. Let’s just say how we all felt about moment, because that was a huge moment in this whole dynasty. Don’t just sweep it under the rug because we want to win. That’s the reason why we’re not going to win. So, I was just like, “Let’s all talk about this.” It’s not that big of a deal. Just put it out on the table. We can move past it. And when that didn’t happen, I was just like “F--k it. Let me just hoop and worry about myself.”

We all know what Draymond is. It’s fine that you want to do that, that you want to show your emotions and wear them on your sleeve. But when it’s over the line sometimes, let’s just talk about it, so next time you can tone it down just a bit. And I feel like we didn’t have an opportunity to do so. Because we were so focused on just trying to move forward and win. And I get that, too. But if we’re a family ...

We done won two chips together, it’s bigger than -- this some s--t we can sit down and talk about.

Me and him sat down and talked about it, and we kind of, I gave him my piece on it. He told me how he felt on it. But it happened in front of the whole team. So, everybody got to talk about it. We know, s--t, turnovers happen. S--t happens.

That's the most thorough explanation that we have heard of the events during and after the game. What's done is done, though. Durant now plays for Brooklyn, which created a domino effect of the Warriors eventually acquiring Andrew Wiggins from the Minnesota Timberwolves at the NBA trade deadline. 

[RELATED: Durant believes he became Bay Area legend with Warriors]

As KD rehabs from a ruptured Achilles he sustained in the NBA Finals as a member of the Warriors, his Nets are fighting for playoff seeding. On the other side of the country, the Warriors (12-43) have the worst record in the NBA at the All-Star break. 

Next season, however, will look much different for both teams.