Kevin Durant Reportedly to Decline Contract Option, Re-Sign with Warriors

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2017

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant reacts after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Monday, June 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant intends to opt out of his current contract but still plans on re-signing with the team, ESPN.com's Chris Haynes reported Monday.

According to Haynes, Durant will accept a more team-friendly short-term deal with the Warriors in order to help them retain Andre Iguodala.

The Vertical's Shams Charania reported Iguodala is likely to have heavy interest throughout the league and could earn $20 million annually as part of his next contract.

Iguodala is one of four Warriors free agents with full Bird rights, which allows the team to exceed the salary cap in order to re-sign him. Haynes noted Durant could help Golden State offer Iguodala a fair-market deal by accepting roughly $4 million below the max salary in 2017-18.

While Durant can technically become a free agent, few expect him to actually leave the Warriors, similar to the sentiment around LeBron James' free agency last year before he officially re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Durant averaged 25.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his first season with Golden State. He also earned NBA Finals MVP as the Warriors won their second NBA championship in three years and the first of Durant's career.

Many wonder whether the Warriors will be able to retain the role players such as Iguodala who have been critical to their recent success, rather than the futures of Durant and Stephen Curry, who's an unrestricted free agent.

The fact Durant will do what he can to help the team keep Iguodala illustrates his commitment to the Warriors' long-term goals.