The Golden State Warriors entered the 2018-19 season as the overwhelming favorites to win another NBA title.
However, things have taken a drastic turn over the last 48 hours for the team. In a report from Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, several members of the Warriors locker room aren’t willing to try and recruit Kevin Durant to stay for another season.
Durant’s teammates have made it clear privately they aren’t on board for another Please-Stay-KD tour. And Durant has said he doesn’t want to be recruited. But the decision to suspend Green publicly seems to be a signal from management that they do care about recruiting Durant.
This report comes to the forefront based on the events that have transpired over the last two days. In Monday’s overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Draymond Green chose not to pass the ball to Durant in the final seconds of regulation and ended up failing to get a shot off. The two got into a heated verbal altercation following the play and the situation spilled over into the locker room where Green ended up calling Durant a “b—-.”
Following Green’s harsh criticism of Durant, the Warriors decided to suspend Green without pay for Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. After Tuesday’s 110-103 victory, Durant spoke to the media and said that he hasn’t talked to Green about the situation, but believed it will happen at some point because the team has a long season ahead of them.
This report may not be particularly surprising based on the wide-ranging belief that Durant will opt out of his contract with Golden State after the season. Durant did re-sign with the Warriors during the offseason, but has a player option following the season in which he has the ability to keep his options open.
Thompson is also reporting that the Warriors’ front office may not be ready to watch Durant walk out the door following the season. The team chose to suspend Green in the hopes that Durant may see that as some support going in his direction.
Management is holding fast to its stance that Green crossed a line that can’t be crossed. Some say it’s just “Draymond being Draymond.” At least two said he did go too far, attacking his teammate personally. One player was even concerned that Green may have lost his authority in the locker room, the berating was so over-the-top.
It’s safe to say that the Warriors certainly could see this situation blow over because of the lofty goals that the team has this season. However, if issues like this continue to persist, Durant’s decision to leave may be even easier and his relationship with Green could continue to spiral from there.