By: Papa Minnow

It’s been a little over a month since Kevin Durant suffered a calf injury late in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi Finals. That injury has held him out for the first four games of the NBA Finals and it’s unknown if he’ll return for Monday’s elimination game.

Durant’s injury was initially reported as day-to-day, however we still don’t know how severe the injury is or what the timetable is for his recovery. One thing that is clear though is that it’s unlikely Durant will participate in this series and there really isn’t much incentive for him to.

This upcoming off-season is one of the most anticipated off-season’s in NBA history. A plethora of stars and key players from Kyrie Irving to Klay Thompson will test the market and seek the best fit. Some moves will change the entire landscape of the NBA.

Kevin Durant is one of those free agents that could shift the NBA’s ecosystem and he’s not only looking to add to his legacy but he also wants to get paid. “I just want to make sure I get as much money as I can on my next deal so I can stack up my money and figure it out,” Durant divulged on Posted Up with Chris Haynes. “That’s just the plan. Play basketball and stack money.”

Kevin-Durant-8.jpg Credit: 2015 Getty Images Thearon W. Henderson

With the Raptors taking a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals and a chance to close the series out in Game 5 on home soil, the odds are not in favour of the Warriors. The level of play in this series has been incredibly physical and both sides have paid the price.

With the high level of play in the Finals, a Durant return not only puts him at risk for severe injury that could ruin his future career, but with no basketball action (not even a full practice) in 30 days his integration could be detrimental to a Warriors team that has not been able to find continuity.

Durant would not return at 100 per cent and the threat of recency bias could threaten the view of his legacy in the eyes of social media. And it’s been well documented that Durant cares deeply about what the masses think.

The Warriors have gone 8-1 in the Finals with Durant, but are under .500 in the 17 Finals games without him, going 1-6 in their last seven in his absence. A loss on Monday would  prove how invaluable Kevin Durant was to this Warriors’ dynasty and give credence to his decision to join them. The ultimate ego boost.

Featured image: Kelly L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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