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OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after being named Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 in Game 5 to win the 2017 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 12, 2017 in Oakland, California.

Kevin Durant’s Achilles Injury And Its Ripple Effect On The League

As Kevin Durant‘s supposed achilles tendon snapped, sending shockwaves up his right leg, the NBA’s offseason plans seemingly snapped as well.

During an effort where the often-scrutinized superstar illustrated inspiring toughness while willing himself back onto the court in an attempt to protect his team’s season from ending, Durant went down once more during these NBA Playoffs. Just as many did during the nail–bitting Game Five, Durant gambled and lost, now hurting both himself and consequently NBA executives wishing to acquire his talents this summer.

Prior to his new injury, Durant sat atop a list cataloging the league’s most coveted future free agents. Now after this train–derailing incident, Durant likely plans to remain under contract as a Warrior, as a dark question mark looms above him. This setback sends Durant on a complete opposite route, as a week ago fan talk speculating which team holds the best chances to sign the superstar to a max, long-term deal roared on. Those roars now transition into quiet whispers at best, as Durant transfers from the basketball court to the operating table.

This injury’s history issues the great concern surrounding Durant, which therefore leads to the concept regarding Durant’s plans to likely opt into, rather than out of, his current contract. With an injury so detrimental, Durant’s ability to play at a high level unfortunately comes into question, warranting less extravagant contract offers this upcoming summer. Although recently the great Kobe Bryant returned from an Achilles tear, other NBA legends such as Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Isiah Thomas seemingly called it quits after suffering an Achilles tear. To put it simply, NBA players suffering this unfortunate injury more often than not never return, and if they do, rarely achieve the same form that they illustrated prior to said injury.

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The multiple NBA teams targeting Durant this summer now will potentially look to change course, as even if Durant tries his luck and tests the market the questions surrounding his future hurt his value indefinitely. While the New York Knicks initially topped all other candidates to land Durant, teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers stood as other viable future homes. These homes now appear far less likely to offer a max deal for the two-time Finals MVP.

While all news surrounding Durant’s injury and its severity remain unconfirmed, a rocky future likely lies ahead for the champ. With NBA free agency set to kick off on July 1, Durant will need to decide sooner rather than later whether or not he wishes to roll the dice once more.

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Written by Collin Helwig