Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton does not question Kevin Durant’s choice to sign with the Golden State Warriors, but is surprised that he didn’t stay with the Thunder.
Speaking on SI Now, Walton, who served as an assistant coach for Golden State last season, said that he thought Oklahoma City’s performance in the playoffs would have convinced Durant to re-sign.
“I was just surprised because they really had us on the ropes and that was a series that they probably should have won, being up 3–1. And they were just beating up on us,” Walton said. “And, I feel like when you get close to getting back to the finals, that would have been motivation to stay with that team.”
Durant shocked many around the league when he decided to leave the Thunder and sign a two-year deal worth just over $54 million with the Warriors. The 27-year-old had spent the entirety of his nine-year career with Oklahoma City, where he was first-team All-NBA five times and made the NBA Finals in 2012.
He joins a Warriors team that includes MVP Stephen Curry, along with All-NBA selections Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Durant has averaged 27.4 points and 7.0 rebounds over his career.