Although the NBA Finals are still ongoing, the league's biggest stories are taking place off the court.
On Wednesday, Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant announced he ruptured his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the Finals, leaving his status for the 2019-20 season in question. Meanwhile, the Anthony Davis trade saga is once again picking up steam one week away from this year's NBA draft.
Durant confirmed on Instagram he underwent surgery Wednesday to repair his Achilles injury:
"What's good everybody I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY. 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.
"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 teammates on our quest for the three peat.
"Its 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."
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters Wednesday the decision to have Durant play was a collaborative effort:
After missing nine straight games because of a right calf strain, Durant attempted to come back Monday for Game 5 against the Raptors. He looked good right out of the gate, making all three of his three-point attempts, but he went down in the second quarter and grabbed at his lower right leg.
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The Warriors will attempt to force a Game 7 against the Raptors with a win Thursday at Oracle Arena. A Toronto victory in Game 6 would secure the franchise's first title in its 24-year history.
Meanwhile, in a summer that could feature Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving all signing with new teams as free agents, the first chip to fall might be a trade involving Davis.
On Wednesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe, Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst reported the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are both engaged in talks with the Pelicans about the six-time All-Star.
The Lakers are offering the No. 4 pick in the draft to help New Orleans add a "high-level player" in a potential multiteam deal. Marc Stein of the New York Times noted Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball are also available.
Unfortunately for Los Angeles, that may not be enough. Tania Ganguli and Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported the Pelicans want Kyle Kuzma to be included in any offer for Davis.
The Celtics could also be at a disadvantage because Davis' agent, Rich Paul, told Sports Illustrated's S.L. Price his client intends to explore free agency after next season:
Since the Pelicans have re-engaged in trade talks, it seems like Davis' time in New Orleans will soon come to an end. He requested a trade in January, but the Pelicans did not move him by the trade deadline.
Davis has one more guaranteed year left on his current deal, so interested teams must decide how many assets to give up in the hope he will sign a new long-term deal with them.