New York Knicks president Steve Mills said the NBA franchise will do "everything we can to attract free agents" amid links to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Golden State Warriors star Durant and Irving of the Boston Celtics have both emerged as targets in the upcoming free agency period.

While the Knicks have cap space to entice star names, New York – who have not made the playoffs since 2012-13 – are only focused on retaining players who are committed to building toward success.

"We're going to do everything we can to try to attract free agents, as long as they're the guys that buy into what we're trying to do as an organisation," Mills told The Undefeated on Tuesday.

While New York have two max slots that could be filled by All-Star calibre players, Mills insisted this was not the initial plan.

"Our plan wasn't to create $70million in room to go after free agents this summer," Mills said. "Our plan was to organically build this team through teamwork, drafting well, getting high-character guys that want to compete. The [salary cap] space was a by-product of that. If the right guys are there for us, great, because we still have all the young pieces and draft picks to move forward.

"And if they're not, we're going to keep building our plan, drafting our guys, playing well and potentially being trade partners. We feel really good about where we are going."

The Knicks drafted Duke's RJ Barrett with the third pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and have promising young assets in Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr. and Mitchell Robinson.

But they traded away star big man Kristaps Porzingis in February and missed out on a chance to land New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis, who has reportedly been moved to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Knicks finished with a league-worst 17-65 record last season and were not able to land top prospect Zion Williamson, so failure to upgrade their roster could lead to more suffering in 2019-20.

Durant and Irving are reportedly interested in teaming up and the Brooklyn Nets are in contention to land the duo. Nevertheless, the Knicks are looking for players with drive who want to bring glory back to Madison Square Garden.

"The opportunity to put a banner in that building? You're not a competitor if you don't want that," Knicks head coach David Fizdale said.

Andre Iguodala believes Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson will remain with the Golden State Warriors as he dismissed the possibility of the pair joining the New York Knicks.

Warriors stars Durant (Achilles) and Thompson (ACL) both suffered serious injuries in the NBA Finals and the duo could be set for free agency this offseason.

Durant – who has a player option for next season – has been linked to the Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, while Thompson will be an unrestricted free agent.

However, Warriors veteran Iguodala is certain neither of his team-mates will call Madison Square Garden home anytime soon.

"I think they'll both be back with the Golden State Warriors," Iguodala said on Monday. "We're like brothers. We keep in contact.

"But regardless of any of that, if both decide to leave, then they would both still be my brother[s]. I'll still keep in contact with them as much as possible.

"I just wish the best for both of those guys. They come back full strength… Nobody's going to the Knicks, sorry."

Golden State entered 2018-19 as the two-time defending champions but fell to the Toronto Raptors in six games in this year's Finals.

Durant and Thompson combined to average 47.5 points per game in 2018-19 and will miss a substantial portion of 2019-20.

The Warriors averaged 117.7 points per contest throughout that season, so they will have to replace some vital firepower. 

The Brooklyn Nets should now be considered the leading candidates in the race to sign Kevin Durant in free agency, according to his friend and former team-mate Kendrick Perkins.

Durant can become an unrestricted free agent if he declines his $31.5million option with the Golden State Warriors and he has long been linked with the New York Knicks, as well as the Los Angeles Clippers.

But reports have suggested the Nets are increasingly growing in confidence as the race to sign the 30-year-old, who ruptured his Achilles in this month's NBA Finals, intensifies.

And Perkins, who played with Durant at the Oklahoma City Thunder between 2011 and 2015, added weight to that speculation.

"I think the Nets are the front-runner to land KD," Perkins told ESPN. "I think they're the front-runner – I absolutely do.

"I'm not ruling out the Knicks, but I think the Nets are the front-runners and people are not giving them their [respect]. Sources tell me that the Nets are the front-runner – we'll leave it at that."

Free agency begins on June 30 and Durant's situation is an intriguing one after his surgery, with Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who wants to keep the 10-time All Star, saying it is likely he will miss all of next season as he recovers. 

The Nets have also been linked with Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and Tobias Harris.

Steve Kerr believes the Golden State Warriors are going to look "a lot different" next season following their loss to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.

Golden State's three-peat bid was ended on Thursday after the Raptors dethroned the Warriors with a 4-2 series victory.

Stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson suffered serious injuries in the Finals and are expected to miss a majority of next season.

Warriors head coach Kerr addressed the uncertainty heading into 2019-20, telling reporters: "Our team is going to look a lot different next year.

Durant will be out at least a year recovering from a ruptured Achilles, while Thompson attempts to bounce back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

This means two All-Stars will be missing from the Warriors' starting line-up for a while. Durant could decline the player option in his contract, and Kerr is unsure what the two-time NBA Finals MVP is thinking.

"I have no idea what Kevin's going to do. I know we all want him back," Kerr said.

And then there is DeMarcus Cousins, who missed a large chunk of 2018-19 recovering from a torn Achilles only to tear his quadricep in the first round of the playoffs.

While Cousins returned for the Finals, he was inconsistent and his one-year rental playing for the veteran minimum is over.

Kerr encouraged the big man to seek a more lucrative deal elsewhere, but said he could be welcome back again if he wanted to stay.

"I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wants to come back," Kerr said.

When asked if this was the end of Golden State's dynasty, Kerr responded "No. I don't think in those terms."

Golden State's roster will be headlined by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green next season, but they are reportedly still prepared to give max offers to Durant and Thompson, despite their injuries. The Warriors are preparing for a fresh start in the city of San Francisco and it may be the beginning of a new era for the franchise.

The Golden State Warriors' attempt at a NBA three-peat came up short.

Golden State's bid at history ended when they fell to the Toronto Raptors 114-110 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

Kyle Lowry scored 26 points to lead the Raptors to the victory while Pascal Siakam chipped in 26.

Klay Thompson finished with 30 in the losing effort but left in the third quarter with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee.

The Warriors now turn their attention to the offseason as their roster could look different in 2019-20.

Here are three questions Golden State will soon have to answer:

 

What will happen with Kevin Durant?

This is arguably the biggest question of the offseason.

All season long, Kevin Durant was expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. He had reportedly been considering leaving the Warriors and was linked to the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, among others.

But, Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 against the Raptors and will be out for most, if not all, of next season.

It is unclear if the injury changes Durant's offseason plans. He could utilise his player option and return to the Warriors, although that is reportedly his last resort. Or, he could still choose to sign elsewhere — at least three teams, as well as the Warriors, are still open to giving the 30-year-old a max contract, according to ESPN.

Durant's choice will have a major impact on Golden State's future, one way or the other.

 

Who will play center?

The Warriors will enter the offseason with a big hole in the middle of their line-up.

DeMarcus Cousins surprisingly signed a one-year deal with Golden State last July. He was inconsistent in 2018-19 and also dealt with a torn quad during the playoffs. But he will still most likely be out of the Warriors' price range this offseason and he is expected to receive a bigger contract from another team.

Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell are both also set to become free agents.

The Warriors appear like they will attempt to re-sign either Looney or Bell, if not both. They also could look to add a big man via trade or with the mid-level exception.

Damian Jones, who has played in just 49 NBA games, has one season remaining on his contract and should be back with Golden State in 2019-20.

 

How will the bench be reshaped?

At the beginning of the Steve Kerr era, the bench was a strength for the Warriors. But, it became a weakness this season.

Andre Iguodala was in and out of the starting line-up and can be a contributor defensively. The wing, however, undeniably took a step back on the other end of the floor, as did long-time backup point guard Shaun Livingston.

Quinn Cook became a reliable spot-up shooter but 2018-19 was the last year of his current contract. The Warriors also did not receive much this season from 2018 first-round pick Jacob Evans.

The Warriors will have to add a few pieces to their second unit in the offseason and almost certainly will not have the cap space to do it. They will need to get creative.  

Kawhi Leonard offered Kevin Durant some advice after the Golden State Warriors star ruptured his Achilles.

The Warriors rallied and held off being eliminated by the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but Durant's injury has been the big headline.

Durant underwent surgery, with many players around the league sending their well wishes.

Despite being on the opposing Finals team, Raptors star Leonard offered Durant some advice on how to come back from such a huge injury.

"We work so hard to get to this point and the game gets taken away from you, especially with leg injuries and things like that," Leonard told a news conference on Wednesday.

"You're not really able to run or do anything on the floor. You really have to change your mindset on things and try to attack each day in getting better and just know you're going to play again one day.

"You want to come back as the player that you were and make sure you come back when you feel healthy. You feel good enough that you feel confident in yourself to go back out there on the floor and know that that day will come.

"That's your assignment – to get back to the thing that you love to do."

Leonard knows what it is like to be sidelined. He missed the majority of last season due to a quad injury, which reportedly caused a rift between him and his then-team, the San Antonio Spurs.

Leonard went on to join the Raptors, where he has made a huge impact in his first season. He is averaging 30.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 39 minutes per game in the postseason.

Durant had been sidelined for a month with a calf strain before returning to the floor on Monday. In just 12 minutes of play, Durant stepped in such a way that caused his Achilles to pop.

Kevin Durant may never be the player he was after rupturing his Achilles and it was "a disaster" to allow him to play just 32 days after suffering a calf injury, according to a specialist.

Golden State Warriors star Durant confirmed on Instagram on Wednesday he had undergone successful surgery, having torn his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors earlier this week.

The 30-year-old, a 10-time All-Star who was named Finals MVP in both of the Warriors' championship victories in 2017 and 2018, was making his comeback from a calf problem he sustained against the Houston Rockets last month, and former MVP Charles Barkley was among those to criticise the Warriors for rushing Durant back.

Doctor Babak Baravarian, a foot and ankle specialist based in California who serves as a consultant to the ATP Tour, admitted he was surprised to see Durant on the court again so soon after his initial injury.

"What happens is he has an inflammatory process from his initial injury and he also doesn't have a good firing calf muscle because of the previous injury, so the soleus is maybe hyperextended or overworked and it causes the extra strain that cause the Achilles to tear," he explained to Omnisport.

"Normally when we deal with a college athlete or an elite athlete this is a 90-day recovery [from the initial injury].

"I don't know the level of damage he had from his initial injury but you're not talking about getting back to normal walking or shooting, you're talking about explosive-type exercise. That to me is a 90-day recovery – 30 days is still during a major inflammatory process, and 30 days is still during the very early healing process. That calf muscle healing, tendon healing is minimum about 60 days.

"I don't know who brought him back but I think it was way too early. When you're dealing with a player the calibre of Kevin Durant, with the longevity of his career being at stake, and the fact you're possibly going to cause an MVP-level player to not be able to play, this is a disaster."

Durant was expected to pass on his option to remain with the Warriors next season and become the most attractive free agent on the market.

However, Dr Baravarian has warned that the severity of the injury means Durant might not be the same player when he returns.

"You can get back to an elite level but normally you're a half-step slower, maybe slightly less able to jump to the same level you were and you're a little bit less explosive," he said.

"When you're talking about an athlete at the peak level as Kevin Durant is, that half-step, that inch less jump, can be a difference in whether you're elite level or just a good level.

"If you're talking about a 'Weekend Warrior', they get back to the level they were. If you're talking about a high-school athlete or a regular athlete, they get back to the level they were.

"Once you get to that elite college level it's like 98, 97 per cent. Once you get to the pros, I think, if you're lucky, you get to 95 per cent.

"A guy who is number one and a freak of nature and all of a sudden he becomes five per cent less... that can become somewhat significant in the overall game. 

"A guy can still be a phenomenal player because he understands the game so well. Kevin Durant's wingspan is ridiculous, his height is ridiculous for his position. I still think he's going to be able to be an elite player but he may not be at that level that he was."

Durant's current team-mate DeMarcus Cousins missed an entire year with a torn Achilles he suffered while playing with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018.

And Dr Baravarian does not expect Durant to be a major factor next season, even if he makes a speedy recovery.

"The surgical process is somewhere around four weeks of purely casted, no weight-bearing, then it's probably another four weeks in a boot with minor physiotherapy," he added.

"At around three months you start to do light exercise such as biking, mild muscle strengthening, and then you've got to let that Achilles have a chance to become super solid because you don't want it to stretch out.

"If he has a very, very quick recovery maybe around the All-Star Game [in February] he'd start to play. I think chances are even if he comes back and plays the next season, he's going to be very limited."

Kevin Durant has confirmed he has undergone successful surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles sustained during Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

Durant travelled to New York for treatment after he had hobbled off court against Toronto, with reports circulating that the 30-year-old had suffered an Achilles injury.

The extent of the injury was not confirmed until Wednesday, however, when the Golden State Warriors forward took to Instagram to share an update following surgery.

"My road back starts now! I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way," Durant wrote.

"Like I said Monday, I'm hurting deeply, but I'm OK. Basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that's what I do. I wanted to help my team-mates on our quest for the three-peat.

"It's just the way things go in this game and I'm proud that I gave it all I physically could, and I'm proud my brothers got the W. It's going to be a journey but I'm built for this. I’m a hooper I know my brothers can get this Game 6, and I will be cheering with dub nation while they do it."

Durant, who had not played in 32 days since suffering a calf injury, went down in the second quarter of Monday's game and had to be helped off the court. He left the arena on crutches. 

He had worked his way back into the lineup after going down in Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals against the Houston Rockets, forcing him to miss the Warriors' previous nine playoff games. 

The Warriors rallied from a six-point deficit late in Game 5 to cut the Raptors' NBA Finals lead to 3-2. 

Kevin Durant is having a rough time following his suspected Achilles injury, according to the Golden State Warriors star's mother.

Wanda Durant appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday morning to give an update on Kevin, who flew to New York on Tuesday to have an MRI on his injured leg.

"Emotionally, it's a little tough for him. Physically, of course, you all saw he went down. He's having a rough time right now," she said.

Wanda was at home watching Game 5 of the NBA Finals when she saw Kevin hobble off the Toronto Raptors' court just 12 minutes into his return from a calf injury that had sidelined him for a month.

"I was excited because he was doing so well and then when it happened I kinda just sunk," Wanda said of watching her son get hurt.

"I was just glued on him and glued on his eyes to see how he was doing. [It was] hurtful to see the anguish in his eyes and he looked as though he felt somewhat dejected."

Wanda also said she was able to talk to her son shortly after the injury happened when he was taken back to the locker room.

"I talked to him about five, 10 minutes afterward and he told me not to cry. Because you know he just worked so hard to get back to play. He just told me not to worry, it's going to be okay," she said.

"It's still out right now, he felt that he was able to play and they said that he could play. We still have to analyse that and see if they made the right decision.

"The doctors said that he was okay. Kevin couldn't have gone on his own to say I'm gonna play without the advisement of the doctors."

Charles Barkley has slammed the Golden State Warriors' decision to let Kevin Durant play in their 106-105 Game 5 NBA Finals win over the Toronto Raptors.

Golden State's star forward went down with a serious Achilles problem in the second quarter of Monday's contest, with Barkley blaming the team and media for pushing him towards a premature return from injury. 

Barkley referenced several articles questioning Durant's dedication to the Warriors, as some expect him to decline his player option this summer and test the free-agency waters. 

But he added it was ultimately Golden State's decision to clear Durant.

"I blame the Warriors for KD getting hurt and I don't care what they say about it," Barkley said on ESPN's 'Get Up'. 

"They shouldn't have put that man out there. You know how I know it? Because he blew out his Achilles."

Durant had not played since Golden State's Game 5 win over the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs, during which he suffered a calf sprain. 

His Monday appearance marked his first in 32 days and Barkley responded to speculation that the Warriors star might have rushed himself to help his team-mates, who were down 3-1 in the championship series.

"I don't think you can ever leave it up to a player," Barkley said. "Players always want to play. 

"But I think if you ask any rational player - Damon [Jones], Jalen Rose, Jay Williams - to put a guy who hadn't played basketball in over a month into Game 5 of the Finals and have some type of move around the day before, I don't think that's fair to that man.

"You saw the result. It's Game 5 of the world championship. He hasn't played real basketball in over a month. That's unfair to put him in that situation. The proof is in the pudding."

Durant was productive during his time on the court, though. He scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting in just 12 minutes before exiting the game, and his MRI on Tuesday should reveal the severity of his injury.

"I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but I understand this world. If you have to, you can blame me," Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers told reporters.

Game 6 of the NBA Finals will tip off on Thursday at Oracle Arena, with the Raptors' lead now 3-2.

Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers revealed Kevin Durant suffered an Achilles injury as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson offered their support to the star forward.

Durant's injury overshadowed Golden State's 106-105 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

Returning from a calf injury that forced him to miss nine games, Durant had to be helped off the court in the second quarter at Scotiabank Arena.

Durant – wearing a moonboot – left the arena on crutches before Myers provided an update on the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

"It's an Achilles injury. I don't know the extent of it," Myers said in tears while making a statement. "He'll have an MRI tomorrow [Tuesday]. Prior to coming back he went through four weeks with our medical team and it was thorough.

"I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but I understand this world. If you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department. ...Let me tell you something about Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant loves to play basketball. And the people that questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong."

Durant's Game 5 appearance was his first in 32 days, as he had not played since suffering what was reported to be a calf injury against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semi-finals.

He entered the Finals averaging 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game and scored 11 points in 12 minutes in Game 5 before his injury forced him to head to the locker room.

Warriors team-mates Curry and Thompson both shared their sentiments on the incident after helping Golden State reduce Toronto's series lead to 3-2.

"He's going to come back stronger. I know he is," Thompson said. "He's got so much more good basketball in him."

"I just feel so bad for him to be honest. Nobody should have to go through something like that. Especially with this stage that we have," Curry added.

Durant is expected to decline his player option ahead of free agency, with the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets among the reported teams interested.

Although his season is likely over, the Warriors will try to persevere through Durant's jarring injury to come out on top in Game 6 at Oracle Arena on Thursday.

Rapper Drake has offered his support to "true warrior" Kevin Durant after the Golden State Warriors superstar suffered another injury setback in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Durant limped out of the Warriors' 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the second quarter at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.

The majority of the crowd rose to applaud the two-time NBA Finals MVP off, but there were also cheers when he went down in pain on his return from a calf problem.

Drake has had run-ins with Warriors players in a series Toronto lead 3-2, but the Raptors fan put his allegiances aside to send his best wishes to Durant.

"Was tough for any of us to even enjoy that game tonight after seeing this transpire. Praying for our brother," he posted alongside an image of Durant on Instagram.

"My only concern tonight is your wellbeing. 'The game needs me' is an understatement when it comes to 35. Please wish the best for this true warrior."

Kyle Lowry says the reaction of some Toronto Raptors fans to Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant's latest injury setback was unacceptable.

Durant was helped off after damaging his Achilles in the second quarter on his return from a calf injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

Although many Toronto supporters applauded Durant when he made his way off court, there were also cheers when he went down in pain.

Raptors guard Lowry said there can be no repeat of the reaction to Durant's misfortune after the Warriors reduced the deficit to 3-2 with a 106-105 victory at Scotiabank Arena.

"I don't think the fans knew the significance of the injury," Lowry said. "They kind of just seen he went down. In this league we're all brothers. 

"At the end of the day, we're all brothers and it's a small brotherhood and you never want to see a competitor like him go down. You don't know what the circumstances are.

"We don't want anything to ever happen like that. We don't know what's this or that. We don't want that type of stuff. 

"And it didn't change much emotionally. It was just after he went down he went down, and we got on and finished the game."

Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Meyers revealed Kevin Durant suffered an Achilles injury as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson offered their support to the star forward.

Durant's injury overshadowed Golden State's 106-105 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

Returning from a calf injury that forced him to miss nine games, Durant had to be helped off the court in the second quarter at Scotiabank Arena.

Durant – wearing a moonboot – left the arena on crutches before Meyers provided an update on the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

"It's an Achilles injury. I don't know the extent of it," Meyers said in tears while making a statement. "He'll have an MRI tomorrow [Tuesday]. Prior to coming back he went through four weeks with our medical team and it was thorough.

"I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but I understand this world. If you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department. ...Let me tell you something about Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant loves to play basketball. And the people that questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong."

Durant's Game 5 appearance was his first in 32 days, as he had not played since suffering what was reported to be a calf injury against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semi-finals.

He entered the Finals averaging 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game and scored 11 points in 12 minutes in Game 5 before his injury forced him to head to the locker room.

Warriors team-mates Curry and Thompson both shared their sentiments on the incident after helping Golden State reduce Toronto's series lead to 3-2.

"He's going to come back stronger. I know he is," Thompson said. "He's got so much more good basketball in him."

"I just feel so bad for him to be honest. Nobody should have to go through something like that. Especially with this stage that we have," Curry added.

Durant is expected to decline his player option ahead of free agency, with the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets among the reported teams interested.

Although his season is likely over, the Warriors will try to persevere through Durant's jarring injury to come out on top in Game 6 at Oracle Arena on Thursday.

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant said he is "hurting deep in the soul right now" after suffering an Achilles injury in the NBA Finals.

The Warriors stayed alive in the Finals with a 106-105 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 but it came at a cost following Durant's injury.

Back in the line-up for the first time in nine games after straining his calf in the Western Conference semi-finals, Durant appeared to re-injure his leg in the second quarter on Monday.

Golden State president of basketball operations Bob Myers told reporters after the game that Durant injured his Achilles, with Tuesday's MRI to determine the severity.

And Durant addressed the injury he suffered via an Instagram live post, after the Warriors reduced the Raptors' series lead to 3-2.

"I'm hurting deep in the soul right now I can't lie," Durant's message read in part.

"But, seeing my brothers get this win was like taking a shot of tequila, I got new life."

Durant left the floor after he came up limping following a drive to the basket with a little more than 9:45 to play before half-time. He was then helped back to the locker room by team-mates Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala.

Durant – who has been linked with the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers ahead of free agency – scored 11 points on three-of-five shooting and grabbed two rebounds before exiting.

Golden State – seeking a third successive title – will host the Raptors in Game 6 at Oracle Arena on Thursday.

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