In the immediate aftermath of watching Kevin Durant hit the floor in the second quarter of Monday night's Game 5 of the NBA finals, you might have felt sympathy for the star, annoyance at the smattering of cheers from parts of the Toronto crowd, or you might have felt forced optimism that it wouldn't be so bad...at least until you saw the replay.
But after it became clear that his Achilles was ruptured, you may have taken a bigger picture approach by wondering how this would impact his prospects in free agency (especially if you're, say, a Knicks or Nets fan). According to league executives who spoke to Bleacher Report's Ken Berger, it won't.
"I don't think it's going to change one thing," an Eastern Conference executive reportedly told Berger. "Some teams have been setting themselves up for this and preparing for Durant to choose them, and I think those teams are too deep into it now. I don't think they can turn back."
Three executives who spoke to Bleacher Report said they did not think that teams would pull back max offers for Durant when he hits the market this summer, despite the fact that he could miss the entire 2019-20 season. This opinion supports a similar report from Bobby Marks, ESPN's front-office insider.
"The teams that are interested would still be desperate enough and take their chances," said a "longtime Eastern Conference executive."
"Take a team like New York. They've had so much misery, I think that they would do it either way."
Another Eastern Conference exec added that nothing has changed, saying "It's going to be the same offer. You live with the injury and live with rehabbing for however long it might be, and hope he comes back being 100 percent."
In the worst case scenario (from Durant's perspective, anyway) he could always invoke his pending player option with the Warriors, which is worth $31.5 million. But a Western Conference executive speculated that that won't be happening if someone puts a max offer out there, which (by the way) Golden State is also still expected to do.
"If the max offers are there, there's no way he opts into that [$31.5 million player option]," is how that exec put it.
The piece goes on to explore a similar journey that occurred back in 2000 when Grant Hill hit free agency. That story didn't end so well for Hill, or the Magic, or basketball fans in general.
Go read the whole thing over at Bleacher Report.