Kevin Durant will reportedly opt out of contract with Warriors
When Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder following the 2015-16 season and signed with the Golden State Warriors, he had one goal in mind — to win a championship.
And that’s exactly what he did, teaming up with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors to win a title.
Durant was a big part of that championship team, as evidenced by the fact that he was named MVP of the NBA Finals.
Then, in an offseason that saw massive contracts get handed out to numerous players around the league — some of them superstars, some not — Durant signed a relatively “small” two-year deal worth $51 million to stay in Golden State.
The deal, which included an opt-out clause following the first season, was structured in such a way that the Warriors could afford to pay other players, particularly forward Andre Iguodala and backup point guard Shaun Livingston.
Now, it appears Durant is set to take full advantage of the terms of his contract, as he will reportedly decline his player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
However, Haynes, who cited league sources, also said that Durant is not looking to leave Golden State.
Rather, the nine-time All-Star wants to restructure his deal with the Warriors so he can make significantly more money.
Durant’s player option for the 2018-19 season is worth roughly $26.2 million, a considerable amount for sure, but less than a player like Durant could earn on a max contract.
“His gesture of taking less gave us the ability to be very aggressive in pursuing Shaun and Andre,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in July. “I can pretty much unequivocally say, without it, we’re not looking at the team we have right now.”
“What Kevin did shows who he is, shows what he’s about, and I think it’s clear that that’s winning. Without him doing that it would have been a different roster, and clearly to me, a roster that wasn’t as good as the one we have right now,” Myers added.
Though it’s not immediately clear how Durant will proceed after opting out of his current contract, he does have several options on the table.
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Durant can sign a two-year worth about $61.5 million with a player option for the second year. Durant would still be getting less than he deserves, but following the 2018-19 season, when the salary cap jumps up, he would be able to opt out again and then sign a new contract worth about $219 million over five years.
Or, Durant could sign a max deal after the end of the current season. Such a contract would likely pay him $158 million over four years.
Finally, he could sign a three-year deal worth about $114.5 million with an opt-out clause following the second season. If he decided to opt-out, Durant would be eligible to sign a max deal worth $228 million.
Durant is coming off another fine regular season with the Warriors, averaging 26.4 points per game to go along with 5.4 assists and 6.8 rebounds.
No matter what happens, one thing is certain: Durant is going to get paid like the superstar that he is.
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