Kevin Durant signs four-year $164 million deal to play with the Brooklyn Nets

file photo from Former Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant #35 gets help off the floor in his last hurrah for Golden State with the injured Achilles tendon in the first half of game 5 against the Toronto Raptors.

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Golden State Warriors lost a key player to free agency on Sunday. Superstar forward Kevin Durant decided to leave the Warriors, a team that he won two championships with, to play for the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets were active Sunday signing point guard Kyrie Irving and center DeAndre Jordan. They will have to wait a year for Durant to play for them as he will be recovering from an Achilles tendon injury that will sideline him for the entire 2019-2020 season.

The big question is, why did Durant decide to leave the Warriors. Golden State offered him a five-year deal worth $ 221 Million. The answer has to be that he was unhappy here with the Warriors. He had a massive dustup with Draymond Green early in the season. The two players didn’t speak for a while, and that may have been a factor even though Green apologized to Durant. Another factor may have been the injury that he sustained in Game Five of the NBA Finals with Toronto. Durant had suffered a calf injury in the series with the Houston Rockets. The team may have asked him to return to action before that injury was healed. No one knows what the Warriors’ doctors told him about the possibility that he might make it worse if he played.

The Warriors did agree to terms with a five -year $190 million contract with Klay Thompson. Klay will be out for at least nine months as he recovers from surgery to fix a torn ACL in his left knee. The Warriors want to re-sign Kevon Looney.  Looney is being courted by the Houston Rockets. Looney proved his worth as he played inspired basketball in the Finals after suffering an injury to his collarbone. The Warriors may try to get DeMarcus Cousins back. The most the can offer Cousins is about 6.3 million. Cousins could help fill the gap left by Durant’s departure. Cousins may stay to get a better deal a year from now. Shaun Livingston may retire, and that is another hole that the W’s will have to fill.

The Warriors should be competitive next year with Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala still on the roster. Players such as Damian Jones, Jordan Bell, Alonzo McKinnie, and Quinn Cook will have to step up if the Warriors are to be successful next season. The fans are hoping the GM Bob Myers might have something rolled up in his sleeves to help make the team better. It will be a very different season for the Warriors as they start to play next year at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

Rudy Gay’s Achilles is torn, needs surgery and changes everything for Kings


Rudy Gay unable to walk after going down in the Pacers game

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Rudy Gay fell to the floor at the Golden 1 Center on Wednesday night with 14.3-seconds to go in the third quarter of the game with the Indiana Pacers. When that happened, everything about the Kings current campaign changed and what will happen with the team’s personnel in 2017-18 may also have been affected as well.

The diagnosis is as bad as it gets

A full MRI on Thursday revealed that Gay suffered a full rupture of the left Achilles tendon. The tendon will require surgery to repair. The surgery has not yet been scheduled.


Rehabilitation is tough and recovery is not assured

Dr. Steven M. Raikin wrote in Sports Illustrated back in April 2015 about the recovery issues associated with an Achilles tendon and his notes are sobering:

  • The Achilles is the largest and strongest tendon in the body so when it is injured it is always serious
  • 70-percent of Achilles ruptures are sports related and nearly one-half happen while playing basketball
  • It tends to be a “weekend warrior” type injury but pro athletes are not exempt: see Kobe Bryant
  • Following a rupture the tendon almost never returns to 100-percent and 36-percent of NFL and NBA players are never able to return to pro sports following the injury
  • The recovery/rehab period is usually about a year in order to return to competition
  • Players returning after an Achilles surgery experience up to a 50-percent decrease in power and will usually play 3-4 seasons after they return to competition

Rudy’s plans for next season have probably just changed


Gay had notified the Kings that he intended to opt-out of the final year of his three-year contract to test the free agent market at the end of the 2016-17 season. A player with Gay’s skills and experience under the new salary cap and CBA should be able to upgrade their salary package considerably in “the Association’s” current market conditions. The Kings were expected to bid for Gay’s services but in the open market there were certainly no guarantees that he would be back in purple and white in 2017-18.

Given the sudden turn of events and the one-year rehab process that Gay is facing, a $14,263,566 contract for next season may look much more attractive than it did 48-hours ago. No team is going to be willing to invest big money in a player until they know what his abilities are going to be on the floor following recovery and rehab. Gay has to protect his family and himself by staying under contract to Sacramento while recovers and then hopefully has the chance to show NBA teams he is ready to play in the second-half of next season.

This changes things for the Kings personnel decision makers


NBA observers had been calling on the Kings to trade Gay ever since the forward had declared he intended to opt-out of the final year of his contract. The experts said the team could not afford to just let a talent like Gay walk away for nothing in return.

The problem for the Sacramento management has been their team’s flirtation with the number eight spot in the Western Conference and the chance to make the playoffs. Portland, Denver and Sacramento have all been battling for that final playoff position and the Kings believe they needed Gay’s 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game to make the playoffs a reality for their team. It is difficult to argue with their point of view.

Now, the dream of making the playoffs continues but it does so without Rudy Gay’s considerable talents in the lineup. The fact that Gay will probably be on their roster and unavailable until at least mid-January 2018 also changes how the Kings have to plan their player personnel acquisitions and revenue for next season.

There is a little light at the end of the tunnel

The Kings have played 11 games this season without Rudy Gay in the starting lineup when he was sidelined with a hip flexor injury. Sacramento had a record of 5-6 in those games without Gay in the lineup.

The Kings have to hope that their production without Gay in the starting lineup was not a fluke and that they can pick up the slack in quick order.