Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers was hopeful his team would retain Kevin Durant since it could offer a five-year, $221 million contact.
But during a two-hour conversation on the day that Durant announced his decision to join the Brooklyn Nets, Myers could see where things were headed. He said Monday that there wasn't anything the Warriors could have done to keep the star forward with the team.
"He felt like it was something inside of him and his heart that he wanted to try something different," Myers told reporters at the team's practice facility. "There was nothing wrong about it. I'm at peace about it. I hope our fans can be, too. He's one of the best athletes we've ever seen come through our city and certainly this organization."
Durant accepted a four-year, $164 million free-agent deal from the Brooklyn Nets. He could end up missing the entire first season as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles suffered during June's NBA Finals.
Myers said that he and the 30-year-old Durant discussed more than basketball during the conversation on June 30. He also said the two parted on good terms.
Myers said he is looking forward to seeing Durant back on the court whenever his recovery period is over. He said he will cherish Durant's time with the club, which included two NBA titles and this past season's NBA Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors.
"I love basketball, and just to watch him play was a treat for me," Myers said. "Just to watch him practice, to work out. ... I'll miss that just as a basketball fan because guys like him don't come along too often. His skill set, his ability is so unique. I got to see him up close for three years of my life and I'll always remember that."
The Warriors and Nets engineered a sign-and-trade deal involving Durant, and Golden State ended up with All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell, who agreed to a four-year, $117 million contract.
Russell's name has been percolating in trade rumors with the speculation being the Warriors are willing to ship him for multiple assets to help in their reloading process.
Myers has heard the chatter and he said it is false.
"We didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him," Myers said. "We didn't even see him play in our uniform yet. Yet a lot of people already have us trading him. That's not how we're viewing it."
Russell, 23, averaged a career-best 21.1 points with 7.0 assists last season, his second with the Nets and fourth season overall. He spent his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
--Field Level Media