Draymond rips Suns GM for saying no team has maximized KD


Draymond rips Suns GM for saying no team has maximized KD originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Draymond Green, just like most NBA fans, was perplexed by Phoenix Suns president of basketball operations and general manager James Jones claiming no team has ever maximized Kevin Durant’s talent.

The Warriors forward addressed Jones’ comments during the latest episode of “The Draymond Green Show.”

“James Jones said ‘A constant focus for us is to continue to figure out and maximize Kevin Durant. No one has done it yet,’ ” Green said. “I was baffled when I watched James Jones make this comment because, and I get like, you got to see the whole interview, but sometimes when we go down those rabbit holes, we go a little too far.”

At that point, Green brings up the fact that Jones was on the 2016-17 Cleveland Cavaliers team that lost the NBA Finals to Durant and Warriors.

“James Jones was on a team in 2017 that lost in the NBA Finals to Kevin Durant and Kevin Durant averaged 35 [points] 8 rebounds and five assists on 55 percent from the field, 47 [percent] from three and 93 percent [free-throw] shooting,” Green said. “And when you got your ass bust, like the Cavs got their ass bust, I have a hard time believing that James Jones could then come out and say ‘No one has been able to maximize Kevin Durant.’ “

Green proceeded to rip the Jones and the Suns, who were swept out of the NBA playoffs by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“When your team does not have plays to get Kevin Durant coming off a pin down, get Kevin Durant catching the ball at the elbow with a live dribble, getting Kevin Durant to the spots that Kevin Durant want to get to and like to score from, when you’re a team is set up that way,” Green said. “I’m sorry. But you didn’t maximize Kevin Durant but don’t say nobody has maximized Kevin Durant because you’ve been on the wrong side of Kevin Durant being maximized.”

Durant joined the Warriors in 2016 and immediately helped them win back-to-back NBA championships in 2017 and 2018. They reached the NBA Finals in 2019, but Golden State wasn’t able to overcome major leg injuries sustained by Durant and Klay Thompson, losing to the Toronto Raptors in six games.

During Durant’s three-year Warriors tenure, they arguably played some of the best basketball in recent memory. He averaged 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists on 52.4 percent shooting from the field and 38.4 percent from 3-point range.

Durant left the Warriors in the summer of 2019 for the Brooklyn Nets before forcing a trade to the Suns in Feb. 2023.

Since leaving Golden State, Durant hasn’t found the same postseason success, failing to make it past the conference semifinals the last four seasons.

With the Suns’ playoff run over earlier than they expected, there has been speculation that Durant might force his way out of Phoenix, with Golden State — the only place he has won a championship — being a possible landing spot.

Durant left the Bay Area unhappy with his role, but as NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole wrote, a reunion between the two-time NBA Finals MVP and the Warriors isn’t as far-fetched as it seems.

After all, Steve Kerr, Steph Curry and Green certainly know how to maximize Durant’s abilities.

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