Kevin Durant to opt out, redo deal with Warriors

Getty Image
Getty Image

13 April, 2018

According to ESPN's Chris Haynes, the 29-year-old will be turning down a salary of $26.2 million so that he can restructure his deal with the Bay Area side as he previously did last year.

The Warriors - the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, 7 1/2 games back of the top-seeded Rockets - will open the playoffs this weekend against the seventh-seeded Thunder.

Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder applies pressure as Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors looks for a shot during the first half of a National Basketball Association game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on April 3, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

After winning his first championship, Durant turned down a $27.7 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent with the intention of re-signing with the Warriors for $10 million less.

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The Golden State Warriors have been a completely different team without their system's architect in Stephen Curry, who has played in only 51 games this season after boasting a clean bill of health during the past five seasons - playing 78 or more games in each. The discount allowed the team to re-sign Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala, something general manager Bob Myers appreciated.

"Financially, obviously, what I wanted to do a year ago, it made sense", Durant told the Athletic in March. Durant would make $26.3 million if he opted in, and Haynes noted that figure was low "for a player of his caliber".

Durant last season added 2017 NBA Finals MVP to his resume, which includes 2007-08 Rookie of the Year, 2013-14 MVP, nine All-Star nods and seven All-NBA selections. "Well, the last two years, it made sense to do the one-year deal". At the time, I said it was the right decision, but given the draw the Warriors landed on Wednesday, it looks like a downright stroke of genius.

With Curry out, it's up to Kevin Durant to play like a superstar.

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