Why Kevin Durant, Warriors' Futures Are So Hard to Forecast Right Now

Editor's note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors reporter, will take you inside the two-time defending NBA champions as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #askkerith


The mailbag was tough to write this week because I see all your questions about KD's free agency, or whether DeMarcus Cousins could come back next season, or who the Warriors will try to scoop up on the buyout market, and the answer is I don't know. These are future-based questions, and I don't know what happens in the future.

I'm not saying that to be flippant. I'm saying the uncertainty of the future is something every human on the planet grapples with. It's agonizing to want to know and not have the answers you seek. As it pertains to sports and fandom, when you love a team or love a player, you create a connection to them that could make you feel entitled to answers as well.

Some answers don't exist yet. I'm going to tell you "I don't know" when I don't know.

Occasionally, when reporters probe, here's what happens:

Game On!

@MikeVorkunov Will Kevin Durant leave the Warriors for the Knicks? Thanks, Someone Who Wants To Know How to Plan For July

@calh2water Will Durant bail?

Mike Vorkunov is a Knicks reporter. Very funny, Mike. The Knicks' trade with the Mavs opened a lot of salary-cap space, enough to land two superstars. Will it be KD and Kyrie Irving, as you wrote, Mike? What if the Knicks don't get KD and Kyrie, as Mike also wondered? The Knicks' organization is confounding.

The Kristaps Porzingis trade makes things interesting. But did you see the way the Knicks smeared Porzingis on his way out? Players talk. They warn each other about unhealthy environments. Here's a deeper look at what made Porzingis sour.

Since 2008, the Knicks have had six head coaches. The front office has changed frequently, and even Phil Jackson couldn't add some stability. The Knicks' owner is Jim Dolan, and you can read about him here. Or have fun on Google. Start with "Jim Dolan and Charles Oakley."

To me, there are concerns about the environment in New York. That's a city that can love you and HATE you in the same week. If the Knicks are a team KD is considering during free agency, he can get the inside scoop about what it's really like to be in that organization from his friend, Royal Ivey, a Knicks assistant coach. KD and Ivey go back to their time together in OKC.

The Knicks keep coming up as a place for KD, but I don't know if NYC is a destination he's considering. Even talking about it this much feels like there's some certainty attached to it, and there is not.

KD is a deep thinker and feeler. He'll explore his options from every angle. He might not know until the end of the season how he's feeling.

The environment is good at Golden State. I think it would take a lot for KD to leave.

Does KD want a different challenge? What are the career goals that he has yet to satisfy? What would he like for his legacy? What is the environment he wants off the court?

There's only one place those answers reside, and that's Kevin Durant's head. We got a glimpse inside KD's head Wednesday night when he proclaimed: "I just don't trust none of y'all. Every time I say something, it gets twisted up and thrown out in so many different publications to try to tear me down with my words that I say. So when I don't say nothing, it's a problem. I just want to play ball. I want to go to the gym and go home. That's all."

@JesseCrosson Hello again, Kerith! Up close, does the vibe of the team feel like a crew going for one last run or does it feel like they genuinely want to keep the train rolling after this year? With so much FA noise it's tough to get a read but I know these boys want (and deserve) to get paid.

There's one guy on the team I trust to speak like he's on truth serum at all times: Klay Thompson. Since the start of the season, plus answers sprinkled in at practice, to postgame comments, Klay has steadily mentioned the goal to win a third consecutive NBA championship.

Klay's enthusiasm to three-peat tells me the rest of the team is feeling this moment, too. This roster will be regarded as one of the best collections of talent assembled in NBA history. If you ever read The Outsiders in high school, you know nothing gold can stay. Nothing is certain season to season. There's an urgency to seize this moment now while the Warriors have it.

@JamesCeragioli Hi Kerith. Conventional wisdom is this is a one year deal with Boogie...If KD does leave, would they look to keep Boogie and Klay? ...and will Draymond get a max deal? What's your vision of this team next year? I think this is the best team they have ever had. #AskKerith

I still feel like it's a one-year deal with Boogie, but Bob Myers cracked the door open for a possible return.

Klay feels like a lock to return because I believe a guy who says "I would like to be a Warrior for life." Truth serum.

As for Draymond, I don't know. Like Steve Kerr has repeated, the Warriors would not have their championship banners were it not for Draymond. He is the heartbeat. He already took a paycut. Draymond knows the sacrifices he made in his paycheck and the ones he makes on the court guarding bigger opponents. There's no one else like him in the NBA, and he probably has the leverage for whatever deal he wants, wherever he wants it.

@amc_boriqua510 Why can't Jerebko get playing time anymore when he played so well earlier this season?

@Bballtweets3 How has Jonas Jerebko been dealing with the decrease in playing time he's had since Boogie's come back, besides the extra time he took off to be a new papa? #AskKerith

I asked Steve this week about Jerebko's place in the rotation, and he said Cousins' return has affected Jonas the most. But Steve predicted that situation back when Jerebko signed with the team. They've talked about it, and Jerebko understands.

Steve added: "It's one of the reasons Jonas is so valuable. He understands the circumstances. He gets the league, so he'll be ready when his number is called upon, and I know we can count on him. It's not easy being in that role, but that's the role."

Jerebko has more than a decade in the league. He knows minutes can vary based on the situation, and he's handling it like a pro.

He shared a picture of his two daughters, Izabel and newborn Celine, on Instagram on Thursday.

High Five

Steph Curry officially is participating in the 3-point contest during the All-Star festivities in Charlotte, his hometown. He'll compete in that contest against his brother, Seth.

Steph has been in the 3-point contest five times, and he won in 2015. Klay beat him in 2016. Klay said he's not participating in the contest this year so he can enjoy being a spectator and watch the Curry brothers do their thing.

Steph has a spotlight on him wherever he goes, but the attention during All-Star break will feel amplified because of the hometown connection and the family affair. I imagine he'll put on a show.

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors coverage all season.

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