Kevin Durant has most of the NBA at his fingertips this offseason when he likely opts out of his contract with the Golden State Warriors and becomes a free agent.
The most talked about landing spot is the New York Knicks, with reports his teammates believe he’ll land in New York and agents saying it’s a matter of “just putting pen to paper.” Two weeks ago through-the-grapevine reports had a Durant to the Knicks deal “100 percent done.”
The two-time champion has been on the sidelines while the team cruised through the Western Conference finals and is still “100 percent undecided” on where he’ll play next year, at least according to his manager and business partner Rich Kleiman.
Kleiman: Durant is ‘100 percent undecided’
Kleiman spoke at the Wall Street Journal Future of Everything Festival with reporter Jason Gay on Tuesday. Gay asked if there was a hidden handshake agreement with the New York Knicks, the superstar’s rumored landing spot this July, to which Kleiman insisted there wasn’t. He added that free agency isn’t a bunch of people playing a game of chess years out.
“That is 100 percent undecided,” Kleiman said. “And I’m waiting on Kevin, ya know? That’s the truth.”
Kevin Durant is “100 percent undecided” on where he’s playing next, his manager @RichKleiman says at The #WSJFuture Of Everything Festival. “He really doesn’t know, and I really don’t know.” pic.twitter.com/1fEw2kYZqm
— WSJ Sports (@WSJSports) May 21, 2019
“When somebody gets to the level of basketball that he’s at, you can’t juggle focus like that,” Kleiman said. “There’s so many things he’s juggling, too. He’s not scripting his future while playing the way he plays and practices the way he practices.
“He really doesn’t know. And I really don’t know.”
Durant’s return still questionable
The Warriors have some time to rest before their fifth consecutive finals after wiping the Portland Trail Blazers out of the playoffs in four games. While they await their opponent, they’ll also await news on if Durant will be ready to go for the Finals. He was ruled out of the entire Western Conference finals with a calf strain suffered in Game 5 of the semifinals.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob told The Athletic after clinching the conference “he’s coming back now for the Finals,” the first time anyone in the organization has laid it out as if it were confirmed. Head coach Steve Kerr said after Game 2 he’s “confident that he’ll be back; we just don’t know when.”
Kleiman didn’t give in at all when asked if Durant would return, instead saying his health is good and he “honestly hopes” he’ll come back for the final games.
Kleiman loves Durant’s Twitter game
Kleiman told the crowd he loves that the 30-year-old gets involved on Twitter, adding he has “every right” to banter.
Kleiman on Durant mixing it up on social media: “I love it…. Kevin has every right to engage and communicate and have fun and banter.” pic.twitter.com/iZKHkI1B3j
— WSJ Sports (@WSJSports) May 22, 2019
“We have honest conversations but never would I call him and say, like, that’s such a bad thing to do for your brand,” Kleiman said.
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