Several Warriors not on board to recruit Kevin Durant in free agency come next offseason, per report
Apparently, teammates feel Green's harsh comments regarding how Durant has handled free agency weren't off-base
According to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic, things have spiraled in the locker room to the point where some members of the Warriors don't even want to bother trying to recruit Durant for another offseason.
There's even the opinion that the team has lost its shot at retaining the superstar in free agency after what was said in the heated argument.
"With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back," one Warriors player told Thompson. "The only hope is that they can say this summer, 'See, KD. We've got your back. We protected you from Draymond.'"
Durant has a player option following the season and if he opts out of his current contract, he can become a free agent.
The issue between both teammates occurred in Monday's overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers when Green attempted to dribble through traffic in a tie game in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, only to lose the ball and fail to get a shot off as time expired.
As you can see in the clip above, Thompson is visibly frustrated at the way the final sequence unfolded. But the real fireworks started once the team got back to the bench. First, it appears Durant says something to the effect of "give me the ball" while pounding his chest. Green, never one to remain silent, fires back at Durant, with Thompson standing idly by between the two stars.
As if that exchange on the sideline wasn't bad enough, Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com are reporting that things carried over to the locker room after the loss as teammates reportedly loudly confronted Green for his decision-making on the final play of regulation in what was described as one of the most intense exchanges of the Golden State era.
Shams Charania of The Athletic followed up that ESPN report by revealing that sources had informed him that in the midst of their verbal exchange on the court late in Monday's game, Green challenged Durant about Durant's impending free agency. As teammates came at Green about his turnover, he responded. Charania noted this has been a simmering issue for the Warriors leading up to Tuesday night's game as a result.
KD and Thompson had both struggled with their shot up to that point, but it's hard to fathom a final possession where neither one of them touches the ball. Durant finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while Thompson scored 31 on the night. Perhaps Green, who had six points on 3-for-9 shooting, was trying to draw in the defense to kick out to a teammate, but either way it looks like Durant wasn't too happy about it.
Warriors vet Shaun Livingston addressed the exchange after the game, saying "things happen like that in sports" and that he was happy to see some "fire" and "emotion" from his teammates (via Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle).
This isn't the first time Durant and Green have gotten in each other's faces. Green yelled at a nearly silent Durant in a Jan. 2017 loss to the Grizzlies. Then the two had a much more animated back-and-forth a month later in a loss to the Kings.
Durant has said before that he doesn't get upset with Green when he gets vocal like this, so the latest exchange likely won't lead to any long-standing chemistry issues with the world champs. However, next time it's a close game in the final possession, Green might think a little harder about passing to his teammates.
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