Kevin Durant Nba Stats & News

Durant was in the middle of an amazing playoff run in 2019 before he tore his Achilles in the NBA Finals against the Raptors. A torn Achilles is one of the most severe injuries an athlete can suffer, and while we’ve seen players come back and play well, it can often signal a new chapter in their career. In Durant’s case, that’s emphasized by his decision to leave Golden State to pair up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. The former MVP didn’t see the court in 2019-20 — even with the pause in play due to COVID-19. By the time the 2020-21 season starts in late December, Durant will have had around 18 months to rehab. Expectations should be tempered given the severity of the injury, but at the same time, a somewhat reduced version of Durant would still be one of the best players in the league. Considering his age (32), if he drives and cuts less, he’s still a threat to put up 30 points every night off jumpers given his elite shooting ability. It’s tough to gauge where Durant should be drafted considering the injury and the fact he’s been a top-10 player since his second year in the league. Conservative fantasy managers may shy away, while those on the aggressive side could still draft him in the middle of the first round. Which one are you?

Durant was in the midst of an amazing playoff run in 2019 before he tore his Achilles in the NBA Finals against the Raptors. During the postseason, Kawhi Leonard and Durant seemed to be battling for the rights to the title of Best Player in the World, with the latter averaging 32.3 points on 51.4 FG% and 43.8 3P%, 4.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and a combined 2.1 steals/blocks. Durant’s career is littered with accolades, including nine All-NBA selections, one MVP and two Finals MVPs. He also led the NBA in total points for five straight seasons. But a torn Achilles is one of the most severe injuries an elite athlete can suffer. And while we’ve seen players come back and play well, it can often signal a new chapter in their respective careers. In Durant’s case, that’s emphasized by his decision to leave Golden State — one of the greatest teams of all time — to pair up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. Durant taking the court in 2019-20 isn’t entirely off the table, but a return would likely occur in April, or later. For precautionary reasons, it wouldn’t be surprising if Durant didn’t play at all this year and continued rehabbing ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

Durant, during his second year with Golden State, continued his all-around dominance and is one of the best Fantasy assets on a per-game basis. He filled nearly every category of the stat sheet, averaging 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.8 blocks. Durant also continued to be one of the most efficient volume shooters in the NBA, hitting 51.6 percent of his looks from the field and drilling 2.5 threes per tilt at 41.9 percent. He also got to the free-throw line 5.9 times per night, drilling his freebies at 88.9 percent. However, his Fantasy value has been deflated over the past two seasons by injuries, averaging 65 games played. Still, there’s not much, if anything, to suggest Durant’s production will trend up or down significantly during the upcoming season. The addition of DeMarcus Cousins shakes things up a bit, but it’s not clear exactly when he’ll be back, how much he’ll play, and how effective he’ll be. All things considered, it’s hard to draft Durant too early considering he’s one of the best players in the league and has only had one long-term injury in his entire career.

Not since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach in the summer of 2010 did one free-agent move leave as many shockwaves around the league as Durant’s choice to bolt for the Warriors last offseason following nine seasons with the Thunder. With three All-Stars (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green) already in the fold, the addition of Durant, the 2014 MVP and a five-time All-NBA first-team selection, was expected to take the Warriors over the top after they failed to repeat as NBA champions the season prior. Though the Warriors had some initial hiccups in integrating a new superstar into the mix, it didn’t take long for Durant to quickly find a niche as a devastating outside shooter and finisher, which was certainly aided by the bevy of playmakers surrounding him. Durant wrapped up the regular season with averages of 25.1 points, 4.8 assists and 1.9 three-pointers in 33.4 minutes per game, all of which were lower than his 2015-16 marks, a development that was fully expected given the upgrade in his supporting cast. However, due to an uptick in shooting efficiency and a more intense focus on defense, Durant arguably maintained Fantasy value, with his 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game both representing career highs. A 19-game absence due to a left MCL sprain in March and early April threatened to derail Durant’s campaign, but he was able to get a few tune-up games in before the regular season ended and then took over as the Warriors’ alpha dog in the playoffs. Just as the Warriors planned, Durant proved to be the difference as Golden State avenged their NBA Finals loss to the Cavaliers from a year earlier, with the forward averaging 35.2 points and 3.6 three-pointers in his team’s five-game series victory to earn Finals MVP. The Warriors have retained all of their core stars heading into 2017-18 — including Durant, who signed a two-year extension — so it’s difficult to imagine the 29-year-old’s averages noticing a dramatic change as he begins his second season by the bay. However, with a year of familiarity with his teammates already under his belt, it’s not out of the question for Durant to notice more improvement in his marks from the field (53.7 percent) and 3-point range (37.5 percent) this season, which would only further aid his Fantasy stock.

Few moves in recent memory have rivaled the anticipation and subsequent backlash created by Durant’s July 4 decision to sign with the Warriors. While the NBA’s rich got richer this offseason, the rest of the league is left wondering just how to go about stopping a team loaded with three of the best shooters in the world, not to mention the league’s most versatile defender in Draymond Green. For Durant, the move represents his best chance at an immediate ring, but it doesn’t come without individual sacrifice. Playing alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Green will force the four-time scoring champ into perhaps the most reduced role of his basketball career. Of course, by Durant’s standards, that probably still means he’s among the four or five favorites to win his second MVP award, but for the first time since entering the league in 2007, he won’t be his team’s undisputed No.1 offensive option. Perhaps playing alongside Russell Westbrook has partially prepared Durant for what’s to come, but how he’ll coexist with two more All-Star starters in the starting lineup remains to be seen. Even if Golden State’s Big Four coalesce seamlessly, Durant’s numbers, particularly his scoring, are likely to decline by default. However, his shooting efficiency shouldn’t be in much danger, and it’s not hard to imagine Durant becoming even more efficient with the constant threats of Curry and Thompson at his side. Ultimately, Durant’s fantasy value is somewhat of an unknown, but even if he experiences an overall statistical drop off, he’ll remain worthy of a mid-first-round pick in fantasy leagues.

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