Two of the best basketball players in the world will enter free agency injured. And the Warriors still will try to keep both of them in the Bay Area.
"It is my understanding, and talking with people in the Warriors organization, that their intention is to continue and offer Kevin Durant a full five-year max contract and to offer Klay [Thompson] a full five-year max contract," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said Friday morning on "First Take."
.@WindhorstESPN on The Warriors offseason plans for KD & Klay: "Their intention is to continue and offer Kevin Durant a full five-year max contract and to offer Klay a full five-year max contract." pic.twitter.com/P07iEBrPc4— Chris Montano (@gswchris) June 14, 2019
Thompson scored a game-high 30 points as the Warriors' season came to an end with a 114-110 loss to the Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, but he tore his left ACL late in the third quarter on Thursday night at Oracle Arena. During the previous game, Durant ruptured his right Achilles tendon.
The Warriors can offer Durant a max contract of $221 million over five years, while a max contract for Thompson will be worth around $190 million for five years.
"Those two decisions would put their payroll -- including luxury taxes -- over $350 million, and they're going to be able to pay for it because they're going to move across the Bay to a cash-cow arena, which is going to increase their team revenue enough to pay for it," Windhorst explained.
Durant's ruptured Achilles is expected to keep him out the entire 2019-2020 season, and Thompson will miss multiple months rehabbing from his torn ACL. If both players do return to the Warriors, Golden State will have to play without two of the game's best for a long period of time.
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"In their devastation today, and they're going to be very sad, they are not giving up on the core of this team," Windhorst said.
As Steph Curry, Draymond Green and others said after the Warriors' loss, this team believes their dynasty is far from over. Clearly, the front office will do whatever they can to keep it alive.