25 May 19
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OAKLAND – For once, not everything about Kevin Durant pertains to his pending free agency.
Instead, Durant has talked in uncertain terms about when he return from a right calf injury that has sidelined him for the past five playoff games. Durant has talked in more certain terms about the ridiculous notion that the Warriors are better without him.
Most Warriors fans seem to understand that, even if they have loved the current run by having a throwback to the “Strength in Numbers’” 2015 NBA championship season. They also want to know when he will return. Before I get to those questions, here’s how to get a question answered in future Warriors mailbags. Send them to me on on Twitter or through our free email newsletter, Warriors HQ
Can KD and Demarcus catch up the final G1?
— johnson7days (@johnson7days) May 23, 2019
KDs status for game 1 ?
— Mir Ali (@alileo87) May 23, 2019
What are the chances that KD can come back for the finals? Is there a chance he can play game 1 after the re-evaluation on Wed?
— Rafferty Depp (@DeppRafferty) May 23, 2019
How's KD's injury recovery so far? How close is KD back to action on the court?
— FireBird (@dsokaym) May 23, 2019
The Warriors seem to be more optimistic about Cousins than Durant. Cousins participated in a full-contact scrimmage on Friday, and the Warriors have said in a statement “it is anticipated that he will play at some point during the 2019 NBA Finals.” As for Durant, the Warriors consider it “unlikely that he will play at the beginning of the 2019 NBA Finals” since Durant has not received medical clearance to begin any on-court work. The Warriors still have four practice days before Game 1 on Thursday, so there is a chance that Durant will be cleared when he is reevaluated on Wednesday. I suspect Durant won’t return, though, until either Game 2 on Toronto or Milwaukee on June 2 or in Game 3 at Oracle Arena (June 5). That would give Durant plenty of time to complete spot shooting, conditioning and scrimmaging drills.
Does it matter who they play against in the finals? Which match up would be preffered?
— Selcuk🦁🇹🇷🇩🇪 (@Selcuk48340024) May 23, 2019
The Raptors and Bucks will both be tough matchups for almost the same reasons. The Warriors won’t have an easy solution on either limiting Kawhi Leonard or Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Warriors will also have their hands full with both team’s positional versatility. I think the Raptors boast a bigger challenge, though, simply because they have much more experience than the Bucks.
The Raptors have gone deep in the playoffs, only to lose to Cleveland for three consecutive seasons in the Eastern Conference Finals (2016) and in the Eastern Conference semifinals (2017, 2018). Now that LeBron James has since joined the Lakers, the Raptors have an open path. Plus, they made that tough but necessary deal to trade DeMar DeRozan as their centerpiece to bring in Leonard, who already won a Finals MVP when the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat in the 2014 Finals. As it has played out thus far in the Eastern Conference, Antetokounmpo could also face a rite-of-passage moment having to repeatedly go against Draymond Green for up to seven playoff games.
what's the situation right now for Klay's renewal as he didn't get in All NBA team
— johnson7days (@johnson7days) May 23, 2019
Pretty simple. Klay could’ve received an extra $30 million had he made an All-NBA team this season. That would’ve amounted to a so-called “super max” deal that would’ve been a five-year deal up to around $220 million. Instead, Klay can re-sign with the Warriors for five years up to around $190 million. The Warriors are expected to pay Klay the max as he wants. So that should set him up well. Still, $30 million is $30 million. That’s essentially an extra year’s worth for a max player.
Will Klay have a revenge game after getting the all-nba snub?
— Anna Su (@riceysu) May 23, 2019
I wouldn’t put it past him. For better and for worse, Klay has been chucking a lot of shots during KD’s absence. This might cause Klay to hunt for shots even more. To Klay’s credit, he is mostly a team-first guy. So when I say that Klay is chucking shots, most of those shots are still good for him because he is such a good shooter. Say what you will about how great of a shooter Steph is, but Klay’s shooting outbursts can become much more intense than Steph’s.
How does the NBA select which members of the media gets to vote for the league awards? Do you think having media votes tied to supermax eligibility is a good or bad thing?
— TL (@Tanno24) May 24, 2019
The NBA selects an informal group of select local and national writers as well as national broadcasters to vote for league awards. Some publications, including The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, prohibit their reporters from voting partly because of the financial publications. I last voted during the 2015-16 season. But even if I received a vote the past three years, I would’ve abstained because I do not want to affect a players’ salary.
As Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, noted, though, he had been one of several noted NBA writers telling the league office and players union during collective bargaining not to tie the supermax to post-season awards. Of course, the easy and instinctual reaction among players is to blame the media and say players should vote. Players and coaches know much more than we do about the game. But players have shown they do not take the All-Star voting process seriously. They either make political votes or joke votes. The media isn’t perfect either and can be tied to narratives. But they have the least self interest among all three parties.
What % KD stays in GS?
— #ResistanceWarrior (@Africanfighter) May 23, 2019
Everyone wishes they knew. It would make this offseason a lot less unsettling. And I say that with full support for Durant, and any other player, to exercise their right as a free agent. Most around the NBA believe Durant is leaving. Those around the Warriors have prepared for the worst-case scenario, but are still hoping for the best. If I had to guess, and it’s only a guess, I think Durant will leave so he can tackle on the challenge of winning an NBA title not with Golden State. Keep in mind the sense I got from talking with Durant earlier this season: if he is to leave, the reasons will have nothing to do with being upset with the actual Warriors’ franchise. Granted, I wrote that piece before the KD-Draymond incident happened. I’m skeptical, though, that incident will influence his decision. I firmly believe it involves how Durant measures the on-court and monetary benefits he will receive staying with the Warriors versus wanting to prove he can win elsewhere.
if KD leaves, would GSW try to find a way to bring back Demarcus? If yes, how would they maneuver to do this?
— Blog Boy 🔥🔥🔥 (@hoopz213) May 23, 2019
If KD leaves, Livingston retires, what players could replace both in the roster?
— #ResistanceWarrior (@Africanfighter) May 23, 2019
I doubt the Warriors bring back DeMarcus even if KD leaves. One, DeMarcus is going to likely have more offers more than what the Warriors can offer him ($6.3 million). Two, I think the Warriors have bigger needs in finding a serviceable wing player if KD leaves as well as finding dependable bench pieces. So it appears more likely the Warriors will use their taxpayer mid-level exception to fulfill one of those needs.
3 guys you see leaving and 3 possible new or returning ppl
— Dr. Funkinstein🏴☠️ (@ValerianRootS) May 24, 2019
The guys leaving? Against the Warriors’ wishes, I can see KD leaving. I also don’t think the Warriors will retain Jordan Bell because of his initial inconsistency as well as Jonas Jerebko because the team might want to get more wing depth. I see Klay returning the minute he can as a free agent. I am also confident the Warriors will re-sign Kevon Looney. As for a newcomer, I could see the Warriors signing Rudy Gay with their mid-level as a consolation replacement for KD.
Is a DM a text?
Just kidding! 🤣🤣🤣
— K.Ella (@hphan22) May 23, 2019
Ha!! I would say a text message is somewhat deeper than a DM. I have several mutual follows on Twitter without their phone number. But I’ve never talked to just a casual acquaintance/unknown professional relationship via DM. So to get to that point means something. Can’t speak to what the deal is between KD and Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard. But I hope I answered your questions at least!
Curious. If the season were to end. What happens to players that were injured during the season? Are they still allowed treatment at team facilities with team doctors & training staff until they are rehabilitated?
— Joey C. (@Stump6426) May 24, 2019
As long as players are under contract, they have access to the team facilities, doctors and training staff. Any pending free agents will be off market by June 30 at 6 pm PT.
do you compare mailbag questions to other journalists who do mailbags? if so, do you try to hit on the same questions if you have a different take or do you try to find a different lane?
— Kevin Fabian (@real_KFab) May 23, 2019
No. I simply just answer the questions directly to me.
What’s snoop’s most underrated album, mark?
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) May 23, 2019
Why do you want to know, Logan? So you can question Snoop’s quality body of work some more? I always thought “Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told” and “Tha Last Meal” deserved much more praise.
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