The Golden State Warriors have won back-to-back NBA titles since signing Kevin Durant and they’ll be looking for their third during the 2018-19 season.
During this past offseason, Durant re-signed with the Warriors, but the former NBA MVP can opt out after this coming season. With that in mind, owner Joe Lacob joined The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on “The TK Show Podcast,” and knows that he will have to recruit Durant all over again following the 2018-19 season.
“Of course we do,” Lacob said. “He deserves to be able to go and be happy wherever he wants to be. I hope it’s here. And I hope he feels the same that way I do, and we do, about him when it comes time next summer. But you never can predict these things.
“We just will do our job and he’ll do his job and we’ll see what happens next summer. And let the chips fall where they may.”
Durant has made a habit of signing shorter term contracts over the past few seasons. At this stage of his career, he can evaluate on a year-to-year basis and play for another team if he desires.
The Warriors have had a very strong offseason to put themselves in contention for their third consecutive NBA title. The team signed All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year, $5.3 million contract and he was coming off a torn Achilles injury that he suffered in late January as a member of the Pelicans. Prior to the injury, the All-Star center was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks while also shooting 35.4 percent from beyond the arc. Cousins was in the midst of having one of the best seasons of his NBA career and his 12.9 rebounds per contest were a career-high.
Now Cousins joined an already loaded roster that should be returning most of the same pieces from the 2017-18 group that hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Durant taking less money to stay in the Bay Area likely allowed the team to sign Cousins and that may not have been possible if Durant wanted the max.
“Sure. I would have liked to have had him — we would have liked to have had him — been here longer; sign a long-term deal,” Lacob said. “But on the other hand, we’re happy to have him. And you know, by him signing a one-year deal, it did save us a little bit of money actually.”
“So it allows us to do some other things. Like maybe we wouldn’t have DeMarcus Cousins as an example. KD’s been great. He’s my hero, man. He has been a really good partner for us. He’s taken a little bit of a discount the last few years to allow us to do a few extra things.
“And I’m never gonna forget that.”
Durant obviously will be a huge factor in if the Warriors win another NBA title in 2019. When the season ends, the courtship will begin once again and that’s a situation that Lacob can live with.