Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant
31-Year-Old ForwardF
Brooklyn Nets  NBA  
Brooklyn Nets
OFS
Injury Achilles
Est. Return 12/1/2020
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $164.26 million contract with the Warriors in July of 2019. Traded to the Nets in July of 2019.
Personal Bio

Kevin Wayne Durant was born in 1988 in Washington D.C. He is the son of Wanda Durant and grandson of Barbara Davis. Durant grew up in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside of D.C. Durant would attend three different high schools: he spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at National Christian Academy, his junior year at Oak Hill Academy and transferred to Montrose Christian School as a senior. After Durant's senior season, he was named the Washington Post All-Met Basketball Player of the Year and was the Most Valuable Player at the 2006 McDonald's All-American Game. He would then move on the University of Texas for one year before turning pro. His nicknames include "KD", "Durantula" and "Slim Reaper". KD was a member of both the 2012 and 2016 USA Gold Medal Olympic teams. As a member of the Thunder in 2013, he donated $1 million to the Oklahoma Red Cross to help those affected by the May tornadoes. The 6-foot-10 All-Star is a big fan of the Washington Redskins and enjoys crab legs. Fans can follow the two-time NBA Finals MVP on Twitter @KDTrey5 and on Instagram @easymoneysniper.

College/International Summary

Kevin Durant attended the University of Texas for one year. During the 2006-07 collegiate season, Durant averaged 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.9 blocks for the Longhorns. He started all 35 games in which he appeared. Durant scored 20-plus points in 30 games and 30-plus points 11 times. KD earned National Player of the Year honors from The Associated Press, NABC, USBWA, CBS/Chevrolet and The Sporting News. The lengthy forward was named the winner of the Adolph Rupp Trophy, the Naismith Award and the Wooden Award, becoming the first-ever freshman in NCAA history to win any of those awards. The Longhorn earned consensus First Team All-American honors, becoming just the third freshman in NCAA history at that time to earn that honor.

Confirms he won't play in 2019-20
FBrooklyn Nets
Out For Season
June 5, 2020
Durant (Achilles) reiterated Friday that he won't play for the Nets when the NBA resumes play in Orlando in July, Marc Spears of ESPN.com reports. "My season is over," Durant said. "I don't plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season."
ANALYSIS
This echoes what we've heard from Durant on multiple occasions throughout the last few months, but some were still holding out hope that the two-time NBA Finals MVP could make his return following what will be a nearly five-month delay to the 2019-20 season. Durant confirmed that he continues to make progress in his recovery from a torn Achilles, which he suffered during the NBA Finals last June, but he said that he's not yet ready to return to game action. He's expected to be fully cleared in advance of training camp for the 2020-21 season, his age-32 campaign.
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Past Season Summaries
2018

Durant started 78 games during the regular season for the defending champion Golden State Warriors. He shot over 52 percent from the field, averaging 26 points per game. Durant finished eighth in the league in scoring. It was the 11th-straight year Durant averaged at least 25 points per contest. He also averaged 6.4 rebounds and a career-best 5.9 assists per tilt. Durant managed two triple-doubles during the regular season and 12 double-doubles. On Nov. 29, KD scored a season-high 51 points at Toronto. In February, Durant started in his 10th All-Star Game, playing forward for Team LeBron. He scored at least 40 points in four games during the regular season. Durant was marvelous once again in the playoffs, when he was able to take the court. He averaged 32.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per playoff contest. Durant poured in 45 points in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Clippers. He followed that up with 50 points in the series-clinching win in Game 6. A calf injury forced Durant to miss the Western Conference Finals versus Portland, as well as the first four games of the Finals. The two time Finals MVP played in Game 5 of the Finals, but suffered an Achilles injury. Durant had surgery a few days later. The superstar was named Second Team All-NBA and finished eighth in MVP voting.

2017

Durant started 68 games during the regular season for the defending champion Golden State Warriors. He shot over 51 percent from the field and averaged 26.4 points per game. Durant would go on to finish sixth in the league in scoring, while marking his 10th-straight year averaging at least 25 points per contest. He also recorded 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per tilt. Durant averaged a career-high 1.8 blocks per contest, finishing third in the NBA behind only Anthony Davis and Clint Capela. He managed two triple-doubles during the regular season, while recording 13 additional double-doubles. KD scored a season-high 50 at Portland on Valentine's Day. Durant led the Warriors to their second-straight NBA title, averaging 29.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per playoff contest. He would be named Finals MVP for the second-straight year. He highlighted his playoff prowess by collecting a triple-double in the clinching Game 4 of the Finals versus the Cavaliers. Durant was also named First team All-NBA and finished seventh in MVP voting.

2016

Kevin Durant knocked the basketball universe on its ear when he announced on July 4th he was signing a contract with the World Champion Golden State Warriors. After nine seasons with OKC (and Seattle), Durant joined the team that eliminated the Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. With Golden State - a team with many scoring options - Durant took fewer shots and improved his efficiencies. His 16.5 field goal attempts per game marked a career-low. But he shot a career-high 53.7 percent from the field and gathered a career-high 8.3 rebounds per contest. On Dec. 30, Durant recorded a triple-double in a home win over Dallas, posting 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Durant repeated that feat during the 2017 All-Star Game, which represented his eight All-Star selection. In March and early April, KD missed 19 games due to a Grade 2 MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise in his left knee. He returned in time to play three April regular season games before what everyone assumed would be a very deep playoff run for the Warriors. Golden State swept Portland in the first round of the playoffs, despite Durant missing two of the four games due to a left calf strain. The Warriors then swept the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs and qualified for their third consecutive NBA Finals. Also for the third time in a row, the Warriors would face LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers. Durant produced 38 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in the Game 1 win over the Cavs. The Warriors would ultimately win the Championship in five games. Durant, who averaged 35.2 points and 8.2 rebounds over the last series, was named Finals MVP.

2015

After an injury riddled 2014-15 season, Kevin Durant returned to his durable ways and started 72 games for the Thunder in 2015-16. KD averaged 28.2 points, a career-best 8.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. The former MVP became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1988-89 to average over 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a season. Durant also scored 20-plus points in 71 games - including each of his last 64 regular season contests - which served as the longest stretch in the NBA since Jordan in 1990-1991 (at 69 games). On Oct. 30, KD scored 43 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a win at Orlando. A left hamstring injury forced Durant to miss six games in late November. He'd hit the 20-point mark in all 15 December appearances. On Dec. 10, KD posted a triple-double of 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a home win versus the Hawks. On Jan. 26, he scored a season-high 44 points and added 14 rebounds in a road win over the Knicks. In February, Durant started the NBA All-Star Game for the fifth time, earning his seventh overall appearance. For the season, Durant drained a career-high 2.6 three pointers per game. His 89.8 percent accuracy from the charity stripe ranked third in the NBA. The Thunder finished the regular season with a record of 55-27 and defeated the Mavs and Spurs in the first two playoff rounds. The Thunder would eventually lose in a heartbreaking seven games to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Over 18 playoff contests, Durant averaged 28.4 points and 7.1 rebounds. At the end of the season, Durant was named to the All-NBA Second Team. He enters the offseason as a free agent.

2014

The 2014-15 season was Kevin Durant's first season in the Association in which he was forced to miss more than eight games. A fracture in his right foot and the subsequent surgery would cost KD the first 17 contests. On Dec. 2, Durant returned to OKC's starting lineup and posted 27 points during a loss at New Orleans. He started nine consecutive games, but a Dec. 18 ankle injury forced the Slim Reaper to miss the Thunder's next six contests. He returned on New Year's Eve to deliver a season-high 44 points to go with 10 rebounds in a home win over the Suns. But the injury bug would return, as a sprained left toe cost KD four games in late January and early February. On Feb. 19, Durant limped off the floor during a home game versus Dallas. Three days later, Durant underwent another surgical procedure to improve his right foot. After many evaluations and missed games, Durant was officially shut down for the remainder of the season on Mar. 20. Durant appeared in only 27 games during the 2014-15 campaign. The Thunder, led by Russell Westbrook, finished at 45-37 and missed the postseason.

2013

For the first time in Kevin Durant's career, the forward was named the Most Valuable Player award for his tremendous performance during the 2013-14 season. He produced per game averages of 32.0 points (a career-high), 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals. He also led the NBA in points per game for the fourth time in his career. On Dec. 1, Durant registered his first triple-double of the season in a 32-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist effort over the Timberwolves. The next month, Durant produced a career-high 54 points to go with six assists during a home win over the Warriors. The All-Star scored 30-plus points an NBA-high 47 times, 40-plus points an NBA-high 14 times and 50-plus points twice. On Jan. 25, the forward recorded 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double, this time in a win at Philadelphia. In February, the Slim Reaper was named a starter on the Western Conference All-Star team for the fourth consecutive season and his fifth overall appearance. On Mar. 9, Durant dropped his third and final triple-double of the campaign with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a road loss to the Lakers. The Thunder ended the regular season with a record of 59-23 and defeated the Grizzlies and Clippers over the first two rounds of the playoffs. OKC faced the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals and lost in six games. Durant has two more years remaining on his contract with the Thunder.

2012

During the 2012-13 season, Kevin Durant became the sixth player in NBA history to finish the season shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line. He was also named to the All-NBA First Team for a fourth consecutive season and led the NBA in free throw shooting (90.5), total made free throws (679) and total points scored (2,280). This marked the fourth straight year KD led the league in total points. On Nov. 18, Durant recorded his first triple-double with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists during a home win over Golden State. Two months later, Durant dropped a career-high 52 points in a victory at Dallas. And in February, he would produce two more triple-doubles and appear in his fourth consecutive All-Star Game - and his third as a starter. The Thunder finished at 60-22 and defeated the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. But in the second round, OKC fell to Memphis in five games.

2011

Kevin Durant played and started for OKC in all 66 games of the lockout-shortened season. He set career-highs with 8.0 rebounds per contest and a 49.6 field goal percentage. He also averaged 28.0 points, becoming the seventh player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring for three consecutive campaigns. KD was also named to his third consecutive All-NBA First Team. On Feb. 19, Durant scored a career-high 51 points during a home win over the Nuggets. One week later, Durant was named MVP of the All-Star Game after posting a game-high 36 points on 56 percent shooting while grabbing seven rebounds. OKC finished the year at 47-19 and defeated the Mavs, Lakers and Spurs in the playoffs to qualify for the Thunder's first NBA Finals. They would go on to lose to the Miami Heat in the Finals, despite Durant averaging 29.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks.

2010

The 2010-11 season was Kevin Durant's fourth year in the Association. He started all 78 appearances and averaged an NBA-high 27.7 points along with 6.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals. That scoring production led to Durant becoming just the 11th player in league history to win the scoring title in back-to-back seasons. KD was also named to the All-NBA First Team for a second consecutive season. He led the league by scoring 30-plus points 29 times and 40-plus points on five occasions. On Jan. 26, Durant matched a career-high with 47 points in a win at Minnesota. In that same contest - which turned out to be an overtime thriller - he also gathered a career-high 18 rebounds. In February, Durant played in his second All-Star Game - this time as a starter. The Thunder finished with a 55-27 record and defeated the Nuggets and Grizzlies in the first two rounds of the playoffs. But they would ultimately lose to Dallas in the Western Conference Finals. Durant ended up dropping at least 40 points in three postseason games while averaging 28.0 points overall.

2009

Kevin Durant played and started all 82 regular season games for OKC during the 2009-10 season. But he didn't just "play". At 21, he became the youngest player in NBA history to win the scoring title, be named to the First All-NBA Team, and finish second behind LeBron James in NBA Most Valuable Player voting. Not bad, right? KD averaged an NBA-best 30.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks over 39.5 minutes per game. The "Durantula" became one of only 10 players in NBA history to start every contest and average 30-plus points. The lengthy forward set a franchise record and led the NBA with 756 made free throws, while shooting 90 percent from the charity stripe. In February, he appeared in his first ever NBA All-Star game. On Apr. 6, KD drained a career-high seven three-pointers on the way to scoring a season-high matching 45 points in a loss at Utah. The Thunder finished at 50-32 and went on to lose to the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

2008

For the 2008-09 season, the Seattle SuperSonics franchise moved to become the Oklahoma City Thunder. Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant headed to OKC and upped his already impressive production. KD started in all 74 appearances and averaged 25.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals. The lengthy forward ranked fifth in the NBA in both total points (1,871) and minutes per game (39.0). The "Slim Reaper" dropped 20-plus points 57 times, 30-plus points 21 different outings and 40-plus points on three occasions. He would also go on to record 15 double-doubles. On Dec. 13, Durant swiped a career-high five steals at Dallas. The next month, KD gathered a career-high 15 rebounds against the Clippers. On Feb. 17, the 20-year-old scored a career-high 47 points during a loss to New Orleans. OKC finished their inaugural season at 23-59 and missed the playoffs.

2007

Kevin Durant would ultimately be crowned the 2007-08 Rookie of the Year. The second overall pick of the 2007 Draft proved that despite being 19, he was ready to be a star in the NBA. The 6-foot-10 forward started in 80 games for the Seattle SuperSonics. He'd average 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.9 blocks. And that point number would rank him first among rookies. KD became the third teenager in NBA history to average more than 20 points per game, joining Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James in the record books. The lengthy youngster also shot 87.3 percent from the free throw line, which ranked first among rookies and 11th in the NBA. Durant scored 20-plus points 44 times and 30-plus points in another seven appearances. He also led the Sonics with 75 blocks. On Nov. 30, "Durantula" delivered 35 points, five boards, three made threes, three steals and two blocks in a victory over the Pacers. He again scored 35 a week later to help defeat the Bucks. On Apr. 6, Durant exploded for a near triple-double of 37 points, nine assists and eight boards in a win over the Nuggets. Ten days later, he delivered a season-high 42 points along with 13 rebounds in a victory at Golden State. Durant's Sonics ended the season at 20-62 before moving to Oklahoma City.

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Transaction History
  • June 28, 2007
    Drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1st round (2nd pick) of the 2007 NBA Draft. Signed a multi-year rookie contract shortly afterwards.
  • July 7, 2016
    Signed a two-year contract with the Golden State Warriors
  • July 7, 2018
    Signed a two-year contract with the Golden State. Warriors in July of 2018.
  • June 26, 2019
    Declined player option for the 2019-20 season and became a free agent.
  • July 7, 2019
    Signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors, but was immediately traded by the Warriors with a 2020 protected 1st round draft pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Treveon Graham, Shabazz Napier and D'Angelo Russell.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
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2007
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.
Durant broke his right foot last October during the preseason. He was initially ruled out for just six-to-eight weeks, but a series of setbacks lead to Durant playing just 27 games before shutting himself down for the season. He ended up undergoing three separate procedures on his right foot, inlcuding a controversial bone-graft procedure that has emboldened Durant and left him feeling confident he'll be back to his normal self. He's only under contract with the Thunder through the 2015-16 season. There are going to be a lot of questions regarding his place on the Thunder and whether or not he'll re-sign with the team next offseason, but all of that chatter is just lip service. If Durant is healthy, he should be himself this season. In the 27 games he was healthy enough to play in last season, Durant averaged 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 34 minutes per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and 40 percent from three. Those stats may sound impressive, but for Durant, those were his worst statistics since 2008-09. While he has an almost unmatched scoring ability, many of his weaknesses lie in his defense, and he's still not very strong in the post at a skinny 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds. At 27 years old entering his ninth year in the NBA, Durant largely is what he is, but with a new head coach in Billy Donovan, the Thunder may ask Durant to play differently this season to accomodate giving other players touches on their deep squad. Despite the positive comments from Durant regarding his injury, fantasy managers should exercise some level of caution when drafting Durant this season. Even though he has the upside to be the best fantasy player in the game, there's also the possibility that Durant will suffer further injury to his foot.
Fresh off winning his first MVP award, Durant enters his eighth year in the league as a superstar in every sense of the word. Durant played 39 minutes per game in 2013-14 and had his best scoring season (32.0 points per game) ever, while also dishing out a career-best 5.5 assists per contest. He also averaged 7.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game and shot 50 percent from the floor, 39 percent from beyond the arc (while recording a career-best 2.4 three-pointers per game), and 89 percent from the charity stripe. Still only 25-years-old, the best may be yet to come from Durant. That's a scary thought for the rest of the league, and Durant should also be well-rested after withdrawing from Team USA for the FIBA Basketball World Cup this summer. The five-time NBA All-Star enters the 2014-15 season as the consensus number one overall fantasy player yet again, and with his ability to stuff the box score in practically every way imaginable, Durant will justifiably be the first player taken in a majority of drafts.
Durant's shooting percentages all improved last season, and his 51 percent field-goal percentage and 91 free-throw percentage both marked career highs. His 42 three-point shooting percentage was his best rate since his sophomore season and easily marked his most efficient rate since he started attempting four-plus threes per game in 2009-10. Unfortunately, this jump in efficiency coincided with a dip in attempts, going from 5.2 hoists from long range in 2011-12 to 4.1 attempts per game last season. His attempts were down across the board last year, and not surprisingly, he dished out a career-high 4.6 assists per game, as he handled the ball a lot more with James Harden out of the picture. All this slight role change means is that Durant is as valuable as he's ever been in fantasy, and with the departure of Kevin Martin, the onus to carry the team for long stretches at a time will be even more enhanced in 2013-14.
Durant won his third-straight scoring title last season, averaging 28 points per game while shooting a career-high 49.6 percent from the floor. He also had career highs in three-pointers per game (2.0), rebounds (8.0), assists (3.5), blocks (1.2). All of the Thunder’s key rotation pieces remain intact, and they will undoubtedly be hungry to return to the NBA Finals behind Durant and Russell Westbrook. What’s scary is that Durant is clearly still improving, and there’s no reason he can’t put up even better numbers in 2012-13. He played in every game last season. Doing so for the second time in the last three years. Durant will surely be No. 1 on many draft boards this year, and it’s hard to argue that he’s not as valuable as any other player in fantasy due to his across-the-board contributions.
Durant was the top-ranked fantasy player last season and should be the first player taken in almost all league formats this year because he contributes above-average stats in virtually every category. He was one of only two players to average over one block, three-pointer, and steal per game last season (Rudy Gay was the other). Durant’s also a gamer; it takes a significant injury for Durant even to consider sitting out, and only four other players averaged more minutes last season. And for the second straight season, he led the league in scoring. But beyond his gaudy counting numbers, Durant is also efficient with the ball, shooting 46 percent from the floor and 88 percent from the line last season. He’ll be just 23 years old this year, meaning there’s still room for his game to grow. It’s legitimately possible that Durant could improve his rebound, assist, steal, block and three-point numbers over the next few seasons.
Although some owners might be moving Durant up a notch in their draft lists because of LeBron's departure from the Cleve for a star-heavy situation in Miami, LeBron's situation doesn't really matter at all here: Durant was the better fantasy option last season, too. Of course, that's not to say it wasn't close – and, depending on league formats, there are probably instances where LeBron was more valuable – but given his performance in 2009-10 and that he's very likely still improving, Durant is now inescapably the number one player in fantasy basketball. Instead of looking at his obvious strengths (scoring, rebounding), it probably makes sense to address what might be Durant's only weakness: assists. Over his three years in the NBA, the Durantula has stayed pretty static here, recording 2.4, 2.8, and then 2.8 again per game. Will that number increase? Likely not by much. Thing is, it doesn't really need to improve for Durant to reign supreme in fantasy rankings – and that's because of his greatest strength. No, it's not scoring, but free-throw shooting. Last year, Durant not only shot 90 percent exactly (756-for-840) from the charity stripe, but he also led the league with 840 free-throw attempts on the season – or, just over 10 per game. Overall, between his ability to get to the line and his efficiency once there, Durant proved to be the best overall player in the free-throw shooting category, considerably outpacing players like Dirk Nowitzki and Chauncey Billups.
Credit head coach Scott Brooks for realizing that the ‘Durantula’ was much better suited to small forward than shooting guard. The move allowed Durant to open his game up considerably and utilize every weapon in his offensive arsenal, vaulting him to an unprecedented level of production. During the 43-game stretch between his move to small forward and his ankle injury in late-February, Durant was flat out dominant, averaging 27.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 treys, 1.4 steals and 0.9 blocks on 49.3-percent shooting from the field and 43.8-percent shooting beyond the arc. The improvement in his shooting proficiency was astounding as his effective field-goal percentage on jumpers climbed from an anemic 39.7 percent in ‘07-‘08 to a respectable 45.2 percent last season. Durant also showed marked improvement on the glass where he upped his defensive rebounding percentage from 9.9 percent to 15.1 percent. We are witnessing the makings of a superstar here.
Durant entered the NBA with high expectations last season, and he fulfilled them by averaging more than 20 ppg on his way to the Rookie of the Year award. Durant struggled in the first half of the season as a volume scorer that shot only 40.2 percent from the field, but after the All-Star break he found his footing and averaged 21.9 points on 47.6-percent shooting from the field and 88.5 percent from the line. Durant is a long 6-10, with excellent range on his jumper and the ball-handling ability of a guard. He projects eventually to be an NBA small forward, but he played last season at shooting guard due to his lack of physical strength. Look for Durant to venture down low a bit more this season, which should help him maintain his good percentages while also adding to his rebound total (4.3 rpg). Durant is also a solid defensive contributor, averaging 1.9 combined steals/blocks as a rookie. Durant should be among the leading scorers in the league this year, and if adds a bit to his defensive contributions he could soon join the fantasy elite.
Durant is this year’s prohibitive favorite to run away with the rookie scoring title and Rookie of the Year honors. He boasts the height and length of a power forward with the outside shooting touch and handle of a big guard. This year, his likeliest position is small forward, where he should be able to go over smaller defenders and around the bigger guys off the dribble. And he’ll have plenty of opportunities to score on a Sonics team that lost Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis this summer. But scoring isn’t the only entry on Durant’s impressive resume. As a freshman at Texas last year, he was among the NCAA leaders in rebounding, and his quick hands produced 3.8 combined steals and blocks. The one area of concern is upper-body strength. Durant got a lot of attention for his inability to bench 185 lbs. at one of the pre-draft events. Expect him to get knocked down regularly, and to struggle at times on defense, until he fills out a bit and gets stronger.
More Fantasy News
'Unrealistic' return
FBrooklyn Nets
Out For Season
May 13, 2020
Durant's manager and business partner Rich Kleiman said last week in an appearance on SiriusXM Radio that he doesn't anticipate the 10-time All-Star debuting for the Nets if the 2019-20 season resumes in July, Ian Begley of SNY.tv reports. "From my standpoint, no, I think it's unrealistic," Kleiman said, when asked about Durant's potential return. "That's just my view on it. Again, we haven't gone deep into conversation about it because of how unrealistic it all seems to me. And it's also hard to even discuss [the matter of Durant returning] in a real serious manner without any information on the season. [There is] such uncertainty day to day -- as we all [feel], outside of just the NBA -- that the whole thing just feels too unrealistic from my standpoint."
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Return not ruled out for 2019-20
FBrooklyn Nets
Out For Season
May 5, 2020
Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a recent interview with Grant Chapman of Newshub that the team isn't officially ruling Durant (Achilles) out for the 2019-20. "That's a $110 [million] question. In all seriousness, we've tried not to talk about his timeline a lot," Marks said. "When you've got enough invested in a player like Kevin, we're never going to push him to come back," Marks said. "When the timing is right, he'll be 100 percent when he gets on the court. I can tell you this though -- before the pandemic, he looked like Kevin Durant, and that's a good thing."
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Advances to 3-on-3 work
FBrooklyn Nets
Out For Season
April 23, 2020
Durant (Achilles) had been taking part in 3-on-3 on-court workouts with the Nets before the NBA went on hiatus March 12, Alex Schiffer of The Athletic reports.
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Deemed free of COVID-19 symptoms
FBrooklyn Nets
Out For Season
April 1, 2020
General manager Sean Marks said Wednesday that Durant (Achilles) and the other three unnamed Nets players that tested positive for the coronavirus are all symptom-free after quarantining for the past 14 days, Greg Logan of Newsday reports.
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Tests positive for coronavirus
FBrooklyn Nets
Out For Season
March 17, 2020
Durant has tested positive for coronavirus, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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