Kevin Durant to Decline Option, Become Free Agent, Re-Sign with Warriors

Posted April 13, 2018

Golden State were heavy favorites to win the 2018 title after their five-game Finals drubbing of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The reigning Finals MVP Kevin Durant has chose to decline his player option for the 2018-19 season and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

He can sign a two-year deal with a 2019-20 player option in which the first-year earnings would be $30 million and the option year worth $31.5 million increasing the salary cap from $101 million (2018-19) to $108 million (2019-20). He did so to allow the Warriors to retain the likes of forward Andre Iguodala and backup point guard Shaun Livingston while allowing the franchise to add free agents to the roster. Heck, he took a $1.5 million pay cut from the season before, which is something you don't see too often from a star player in his prime.

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Durant, however, will reportedly opt out of that deal this offseason and restructure his deal with Golden State, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes. Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area reported Wednesday that ESPN's Zach Lowe said on Lowe's podcast that some coaches and GMs expressed that they would rather face the Warriors in the first round than the Jazz or the Oklahoma City Thunder. Each year of his deal could escalate.

The contract included a player opt-out provision after the 2017-18 season, and it appears Durant will exercise his option. "Well, the last two years, it made sense to do the one-year deal".

They will enter this year's playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference behind the Houston Rockets, and Durant's averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per night.

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The 29-year-old's Golden State tenure has worked out splendidly in terms of team success, as the Warriors won 67 regular-season games in 2016-17 en route to their second championship in three years.

Golden State is much better set up to handle the absence of Curry than the Spurs are to handle the absence of Leonard.

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