Kevin Durant's Achilles injury will reportedly have little impact on his free agency

The Achilles injury Kevin Durant suffered during Game 5 of the NBA Finals was a devastating blow — for himself and the NBA.

After digesting the immediate concerns of whether or not he should have been playing and the impact the injury has on the NBA Finals come the longer-term concerns.

How will the injury impact Durant’s health and basketball future, and what does it mean for his pending free agency should he opt out of the final year of his deal with the Golden State Warriors?

The answer to the first question won’t be known for a long time. Assuming the injury is the feared Achilles tear, we won’t see Durant on the court until past the midway point of next season at the earliest.

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Kevin Durant injures leg during NBA Finals Game 5
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Kevin Durant injures leg during NBA Finals Game 5
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) goes down with a leg injury against the Toronto Raptors during first half action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto on Monday, June 10, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after sustaining an injury during the second quarter against the Toronto Raptors during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Kevin Durant #35 is helped to his feet by Klay Thompson #11 and Quinn Cook #4 of the Golden State Warriors after sustaining an injury against the Toronto Raptors in the first half during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors reacts as Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors is carried off the court in the first half during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant, alero de los Warriors de Golden State, es ayudado a salir de la cancha tras lesionarse durante el quinto partido de la Final de la NBA ante los Raptors de Toronto, el lunes 10 de junio de 2019 (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant glances up at the stands as he walks off the court after sustaining an injury during first half basketball action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto, Monday, June 10, 2019. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) is consoled as he walks off the court after sustaining an injury during first half basketball action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto on Monday, June 10, 2019. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (35) walks off the court after sustaining an injury as Toronto Raptors' Serge Ibaka (9) addresses the crowd, while Warriors' Andre Iguodala (9) and Raptors' Kyle Lowry (7) look on during first half basketball action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto, Monday, June 10, 2019. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors is assisted off the court after sustaining an injury in the first half against the Toronto Raptors during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Teams reportedly not wavering on signing Durant

But his free agency status is more imminent — and reportedly more certain. Multiple reports landed on Tuesday concerning Durant’s status as a free agent. The consensus is clear.

‘Resounding’ yes to signing Durant

ESPN’s Bobby Marks said Tuesday that the teams he talked to wouldn’t hesitate to sign Durant.

“I talked to three teams,” Marks told “Get Up.” “I didn’t even get the question out. I said if you had cap space, would you go out and sign Kevin Durant knowing that he will likely be out maybe the whole year? The resounding answer was yes.”

Marks did not divulge the teams he spoke with, but The Athletic’s David Aldridge directly addressed the specific teams linked to Durant in free agency and provided a similar report.

Report: New York, L.A. teams still on board

In writing about the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, Aldridge reported that those teams were not dissuaded by Durant’s pending heath concerns.

“Durant’s injury, whether short-term or longer, has done little to cool the ardor of his most dogged free agent pursuers. The likelihood remains that all of the New York/L.A. teams will stay in the hunt for Durant beginning on the afternoon of June 30.”

Diminished Durant still worth the risk

It speaks to the type of talent Durant possesses and the potential impact he would have on the bottom lines of major-market teams pursuing his services.

It’s difficult to tell what we’ll see from Durant the next time he steps on a basketball court. He’ll likely be 31 years old and coming off an Achilles tear that historically diminishes the abilities of players who suffer the injury.

But even a diminished Durant retains tremendous value in the NBA.

Monday’s injury was a crushing blow for Durant. But it sounds like he can take solace knowing his financial outlook remains bright.

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