Thursday on Get Up, Brian Windhorst brought up another layer to the Kevin Durant free agency saga that has not been talked about in the media. Windhorst said something that has been discussed is a scenario in which the Warriors would sign Durant to a five-year deal, $57 million more than he can get elsewhere, and work out a “delayed” sign-and-trade. This would put the long-rumored New York Knicks in position to acquire him.
There is a lot going on here. It would certainly be a win for Durant if he intends to sign with another team like the Knicks. Under this scenario, he would go to the team he wants and not have to give up the extra year and $57 million. With his Achilles injury, it’s going to be much harder to turn that down, which has led to many believing he would just end up staying with the Warriors. It’s hard to call losing Durant a win, but getting something for him, as opposed to nothing, is much less damaging for the Warriors going forward. As for the Knicks or whoever acquires him, they would get Durant so whatever they have to give up will be looked at as pocket change.
The key here would be trust. Durant would have to trust the Warriors that they would be willing to work this out and send him to the team he wants to be sent to. As Jalen Rose mentioned, Durant would be putting the fate of his future into the Warriors’ hands. It’s worth mentioning his trust in the organization could be less than ideal after reportedly being told there was no way he could “injure the Achilles” by coming back in Game 5.
This is the most fascinating free agency rumor yet. Sign-and-trades for marquee free agents are not uncommon. LeBron James was a part of one. But a delayed one like this, with this level of detail and communication, is unheard of. And honestly, it doesn’t sound all that far-fetched.