Superstar small forward Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriorsreached an agreement on a two-year extension worth $53 million, ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes reported Monday.
According to Haynes, Durant can opt out after the first year.
USA Today‘s Sam Amick noted how much money Durant is leaving on the table:
Typo on option, obviously. Durant will sign a one-plus-one, with a player option for 2018-19. $25 million 1st yr (Max would've been 34.5)
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 3, 2017
Amick reported that if Andre Iguodala had left, Durant would have taken even less money to ensure the Warriors signed forward Rudy Gay.
Durant ended a high-profile trip into free agency last summer by confirming his intention to join the Warriors on July 4. He signed a two-year pact worth just over $54.2 million, which gave him the option to re-enter the open market after his first season with the Dubs.
“I plan on being here,” Durant said. “I don’t want to go through that again.”
“I’m liking it here,” he said. “I’m liking everything that’s going on. I know what my contract says, but I didn’t plan on coming here for just a year. I’m in it right now, and I’m also just focusing on day by day.”
Durant averaged 25.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.1 steals in his first year playing alongside Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. He was limited to 62 games due to a knee injury but returned for the team’s postseason run.
His strong play continued in the playoffs to help the Warriors capture their second championship in the past three years. He checked in at 28.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists across 15 games and earned the NBA Finals MVP award after the team’s five-game triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Meanwhile, the issue of Durant’s contract slowly moved back into the spotlight, even though he remained firm in his desire to stick with the Dubs throughout the campaign.
The Warriors and the latest addition to their star-studded Big Four were able to work out an agreement on a new deal, taking the place of his old agreement and next season’s player option. While it’s not a surprise, it does ensure there won’t be any late change of heart by the forward.
Playing alongside such a talented supporting cast allowed Durant to play a career-low 33.4 minutes during the regular season. That number could dip even closer to 30 minutes during the course of the deal as the team looks to keep him fresh.
All told, with Durant now guaranteed to remain in the fold, the Warriors should once again head into next season as the clear favorite to capture the NBA title.