Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant will decline his player option for the 2017-18 NBA season but will re-sign with the Warriors, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com.
Durant would have made $28 million next year had he picked up the option.
With Durant declining his option, he will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but it won’t matter, as he has every intention to remain with Golden State.
And why wouldn’t he?
Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Warriors for a chance at multiple championships. In his first year with Golden State, he and the Dubs defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in the NBA Finals. Durant earned Finals MVP honors while averaging 35.2 points per game.
Durant is expected to take less than the max to give the Warriors room to re-sign wing Andre Iguodala, who is also set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
If Durant takes about $4 million less than his max next year and waits an extra year for a long-term extension, Golden State will be able to use its Bird rights on Iguodala to give him a deal similar to what he would receive on the open market.
Durant is expected to sign another one-year deal with a player option for the following season.
The Warriors have won two championships over the last three seasons and don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. With a core that includes Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, it’s hard to see anyone dethroning Golden State in the immediate future.