Report: Kevin Durant to Decline Option, Become Free Agent, Re-Sign with Warriors

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2018

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Phoenix. The Warriors defeated the Suns 117-100. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Kevin Durant is reportedly going to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, albeit for a short time.

According to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com, the four-time scoring champion plans on declining his player option for the 2018-19 campaign in favor of a new deal with the Golden State Warriors. Durant would make $26.3 million if he opted in, and Haynes noted that figure was low "for a player of his caliber."

Durant accepted about $10 million less than what he would've got on a max deal when he signed a two-year, $51.3 million contract with the opt-out clause, which let the Warriors keep Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, per Haynes.

The 29-year-old's Golden State tenure has worked out splendidly in terms of team success, as the Warriors won 67 regular-season games in 2016-17 en route to their second championship in three years.

They will enter this year's playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference behind the Houston Rockets, and Durant's averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per night.

Durant last season added 2017 NBA Finals MVP to his resume, which includes 2007-08 Rookie of the Year, 2013-14 MVP, nine All-Star nods and seven All-NBA selections. There is little doubt he is among the upper echelon of players in the league, and he will apparently be paid accordingly.

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The University of Texas product has meshed well with Stephen Curry, and in the coming years the duo figures to help Golden State maintain its place on the short list of NBA title contenders.

It will just cost the Warriors front office more to remain on that list.

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