(Photo via NBA.com)
The Oklahoma City Thunder are again one of the favorites to win the NBA championship this season. Those odds affected a bit with the devastating news that Durant suffered a fractured foot and will be out 6 to 8 weeks.
Kevin Durant has a Jones fracture in his right foot, Thunder announce. Typically requires surgery and 6-8 week recovery.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) October 12, 2014
It is unknown as to when or how Durant suffered the injury but he first reported discomfort in his right foot following practice on Saturday.
The Thunder open the 2014-15 NBA season on October 29 against the Portland Trailblazers which is roughly 2 weeks away. If the estimated timetable for Durant to return from injury is accurate he will stand to miss 17 to 25 games regular season games which could set the Thunder back in the race for the top record in the West and home court advantage in the playoffs.
The injury to Durant is especially damaging to the Thunder’s offense which is heavily reliant on his and Westbrook’s production. Durant led the league last season in usage percentage at 33 percent which is understandable considering he was playing without Westbrook for 36 games. If not for playing in only 46 games, Westbrook would have led the league in usage percentage with 34.4 percent. Now, it is Westbrook that will have to carry the offensive load with Durant out and he doesn’t have much firepower on the roster. Serge Ibaka was 3rd on the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and back up point guard, Reggie Jackson, was 4th at 13.1.
Westbrook played only 41 minutes without Durant last season: http://t.co/05Elp26MdV Attempted 35 (!) shots in those 41 minutes.
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) October 12, 2014
Thunder could look for some scoring help out in free agency, with players like Micheal Beasley who recently became available after being released by the Memphis Grizzlies. Beasley has signed a one year contract with a Chinese professional club but the terms, such as there being a guarantee, have not been reported.