Kevin Durant is officially an unrestricted free agent. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Durant declined his one-year, $31.5 million option for the upcoming season, thus ending his contract with the Golden State Warriors.
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has declined his $31.5M player option and will become an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell ESPN. Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman are in New York, evaluating free agency options. So far, process has stayed private.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2019
This was always the overwhelmingly likely option when Durant signed his one plus one contract last offseason. The only way Durant would have opted into his contract was if he had a horrendous injury that limited what teams were willing to pay him.
Unfortunately, the first part of that sentence came true, but thankfully the second part did not. The Warriors are still expected to offer Durant the five-year max, while teams like the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers are expected to be interested in the four-year max that they’re allowed to offer.
So basically, this news means nothing in the big picture. It doesn’t say anything about whether Durant’s intention is to leave the Warriors, or run it back at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
But it is the first domino. And we’ll know a whole lot more soon.