Kevin Durant could very well miss the rest of this season, the Thunder announced in an injury update on Friday. He’s having serious trouble recovering from a foot injury.
“He’s not making the progress we’d hoped or expected,” Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti said, after Durant was held out of practice Thursday due to soreness. Durant had foot surgery on February 23 that was an attempt to alleviate soreness and discomfort after a screw was inserted in October during a procedure to repair a Jones fracture.
Durant possibly missing the rest of the season is good news for some parties, bad news for others, and bittersweet for still others.
For Durant himself, the Thunder, and OKC fans it’s terrible news, especially in light of Serge Ibaka’s injury. The Thunder could very well miss the playoffs, and even if they make it now they’ll probably be crushed by the Warriors.
Speaking of Golden State, Durant’s injury is good news for them. What was slated to be a crazy first-round matchup that could have easily left team with the best record in the league going home too early will now be a mere warmup for later rounds, if the Thunder manage to make the postseason.
Other parties invested in the situation live in and near Washington, D.C. including the Wizards management, John Wall, and fans. It’s no secret many of these parties envision Durant joining the Wizards after next season, forming a potent duo with Wall and the hopefully-improved Bradley Beal.
For these parties, though, Durant’s injury is not all good news. The positive part has Oklahoma City either floundering in the playoffs or not making them at all. That likely gives the Thunder next season to win a title or watch Durant leave.
The bad news? Durant could no longer be the best player to team up with Wall in what would be the best Washington team in decades. Durant’s foot problems could be a recurring issue. The new uncertainty has provoked questions from some of the core Wizards fans.
Sure, the Wizards appear to have an inside track for Durant. But there’s another superstar that could end up in a Washington uniform before long, and fans are wondering whether he’s the better choice. That would be DeMarcus Cousins, Wall’s former Kentucky teammate.
In a perfect world (for Wizards fans), Washington could somehow get Cousins and Durant and have one of the best “big 3s” ever. But if there’s a choice, then almost half of the fans that voted in the very unofficial poll went with Cousins.
“I think around this time last year it would have been a no brainer KD but with his 2 foot surgeries and the way Demarcus is playing this year id probably go with Demarcus,” said one fan.
Then again, the rest noted that they believe Durant is much better.
“If both are attainable, theres simply no question KD is one of the best players in the planet and will continue to be,” said another. “Any chance to get him you take him. Now, if we are talking realistically, I’d venture to guess it would be easier to get DMC than KD. In that case, if the opportunity to get Boogie ever comes up, I say take it and forget about KD.”
The downside to the hypothetical Cousins acquisition–if it’s indeed via a trade, Washington would need to give up several first-round picks and at least Otto Porter if not also Beal.
Some reports have claimed Durant could be dealt, but many believe the Thunder will wait it out and hope he re-signs. In that case, all the Wizards have to do is continue on their current track of having a nice roster in place for Durant to join, built around Wall and Beal.