There will be a lot of big name free agents this summer, looking around at the league, deciding where to sign a big contract. LeBron James. Paul George. DeMarcus Cousins. Isaiah Thomas. DeAndre Jordan.
But rest easy, Golden State Warriors fans. Kevin Durant is not one of them.
Durant signed a one-year deal last summer, partially to grant the team financial flexibility, and partially because doing so allowed him to cash in bigger down the road. And while no one thought Durant had intentions of leaving, impending free agencies are still scary to fanbases.
But Durant isn’t going anywhere, at least to hear him tell it. The Athletic’s Anthony Slater caught up with Durant at practice, and asked him if he was 100 percent certain that he’d be re-signing. Durant’s answer was simple: “Yeah. Yeah.”
While Durant rolled his eyes at having to approach this topic again, and joked that, “I want to wait to see who wins the championship and whoever wins that, that’s who I’m going to sign with,” he also said that he feels like he’s on a long-term contract, because he’s committed to the organization.
Even though he’s sticking around, he has some options to consider. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) states that Durant can only sign a four-year max contract this year, but if he takes another one-year deal, he can sign a five-year max contract in 2019.
In addition to weighing the CBA technicalities, Durant is not averse to taking a discount to help aid the team in retaining Klay Thompson and/or Draymond Green. “The money is not important to me,” Durant told Slater. “I’ve made so much over my career. But I do know that I want to be here, I love playing here. . . Who knows what’ll happen, what we’ll need at that time? But like I said, money is not my concern, I’m concerned with my joy and happiness.”
It remains to be seen what the future holds for the Warriors. But for now, it looks like Durant and Stephen Curry will be around for a long time. And that’s a great thing.