Kevin Durant announced Sunday that he intends to sign a max deal to join the Nets.
Durant, who spent the last three seasons starring for the Golden State Warriors, made the announcement on Instagram. He missed several weeks of the playoffs with injuries, then ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in his return during the finals just weeks ago.
Durant, 30, will likely miss all of the 2019-20 season as he rehabilitates from his injury, and there are no guarantees that he will ever fully recover. The Nets, though, were willing to gamble on his eventual return and intend to pair him with Kyrie Irving, the star point guard who is also a free agent after spending the past two seasons with the Boston Celtics.
Durant’s announcement was a coup for the Nets, who spent years digging out from the depths of ill-advised personnel moves to secure enough space under the league’s salary cap to sign two huge stars.
At the same time, it was a devastating start to free agency for the Knicks, who had figured to be in the running for both players.
Durant, a 10-time All-Star and the league’s most valuable player with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014, was considered one of the best — if not the best — players in the N.B.A. before he sustained his injury against the Toronto Raptors on June 10. He underwent surgery on June 12.
This is breaking news and will be updated.
Marc Stein is a sports reporter specializing in N.B.A. coverage, with occasional forays into soccer and tennis. He spent nearly 15 years at ESPN before coming to The Times. @TheSteinLine • Facebook
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