Kevin Durant knew for a fact he wouldn’t be making max contract money when signing on with Golden State back in 2016, as there was no possible way under the current salary cap rules that the Warriors would be able to resign both Steph Curry and Durant to max deals while also having Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the roster and trying to build a semi-decent championship bench.
Because of this, Durant signed a two-year contract worth $53 million, with a player option for the third year. And if reports are to be believed, KD will be making full use of that player option.
According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, Durant plans to opt out of his contract in the upcoming summer free agency period to restructure his contract with the Warriors — which either means Durant wants more money from Golden State, or is going to take another pay cut, which is scary for the rest of the league.
“Golden State Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant plans to decline his player option for the 2018-19 season and become an unrestricted free agent this summer, league sources tell ESPN.
However, his time on the open market will be brief.
A nine-time All-Star and the reigning NBA Finals MVP, Durant will be turning down a salary of $26.2 million, a figure well below that for a player of his caliber, in order to restructure a new deal with the Warriors, sources said.
It has yet to be decided what contractual route Durant will take, sources say, but there are no real incentives — for himself or for the team — to take such a drastic reduction in pay this time around.”
The flexible contract Durant signed back in 2016 was mainly so the Warriors could resign vital bench pieces such as Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala, but also gave KD the opportunity to end it early in case of a change of heart or simply wanting more money.
Unfortunately for the rest of the league, there is almost no chance Durant opts out in search of a change of scenery.