Warriors ‘had the upper hand’ in Durant’s free agency until Draymond spat, says Kendrick Perkins

Former NBA player turned league insider Kendrick Perkins has had a lot to say about his former teammate Kevin Durant‘s free agency, and Perkins now says the Warrior had the “upper hand” in Durant’s free agency until November 2018.

Perkins said he’s spoken privately to Durant about his decision, and shared during a Friday appearance on KNBR’s Murph & Mac show that Durant’s move to the Brooklyn Nets had been in the works for months.

“If you look at KD’s situation as far as him signing with Brooklyn, we all know he that had been talking to Kyrie [Irving] throughout the season,” Perkins said. “We all know they are great friends. When he decided, in my opinion, when I saw Kyrie had left his agency to go with Roc Nation and then I saw Kyrie had committed to Brooklyn. It was a no-brainer to me that KD was going. He was already out there in New York.”

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Perkins and Durant were Oklahoma City Thunder teammates from 2011-2015, and said he believes Warriors actually had a good chance of retaining Durant until a November argument with Draymond Green.

“Coming into the season I think Golden State had the upper hand, but as the season went on and the incident happened with him and Draymond, I don’t think Kevin really bounced back from it,” Perkins said.

During a game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Green and Durant engaged in a heated on-court argument that spilled into the locker room. Green reportedly called Durant a b— and dared him to leave in free agency.

“Once again you have to applaud KD because he never came out in the media and bashed Draymond about the situation, he never even really responded to Draymond on the court,” Perkins said. “I think he handled it well as far as how he went out there and competed at a high level and put his body on the line for the Warriors. I don’t think he ever bounced back from those words.”

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Perkins also refuted reports that the New York Knicks were the frontrunners for Durant, and said Durant appeared to take a swipe at the well-documented dysfunction in the Knicks organization.

“I think people had speculation that the Knicks were actually the front runners, but they weren’t,” he said. “In my opinion it was either Brooklyn or going back to Golden State. I asked Kevin what was the reason behind him ultimately choosing Brooklyn and he told me, ‘Perk you’re not stupid, you know why I chose Brooklyn man. Look at the organization and look at the direction they’re going in.'”

You can listen to Perkins’ full interview with KNBR here.

Eric Ting is an SFGATE staff writer. Email: eric.ting@sfgate.com | Twitter:@_ericting

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Kevin-Durant-Nets-Draymond-Green-argument-Kendrick-14110480.php.

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