Nobody knows what Kevin Durant will do when he becomes a free agent at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, but one thing is certain:
He is looking to get paid.
"I'm not thinking about none of that s--t," Durant said on Wednesday, per The Athletic's Marcus Thompson II. "I am thinking about the money I'm going to get. I never got the (massive) deal. I've just seen a bunch of dudes around the league making so much money—and I'm happy for them. But I know I deserve that, too. That's the only thing I'm probably thinking about, to be honest."
That "s--t" is the recruitment process, which has already featured a banner for him to join the New York Knicks. While that may land with some players, Durant made it clear, per The Athletic's Anthony Slater, that he wasn't "impressed with that type of stuff."
Durant received a lot of heat for joining the 73-9 Warriors back in the summer of 2016, but the truth is, he left money on the table in order to do so. He initially signed a two-year, $54.3 million contract with Golden State, a contract that featured a player option for Year 2. He then left approximately $10 million on the table by taking a two-year, $53 million deal (with a player option) last year to help the team keep Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
His sacrifice helped Golden State save some serious cash, as salary cap expert Albert Nahmad pointed out:
This past summer, he signed another one-and-one deal that put him at $30 million this season.
Durant's decision has resulted in two NBA titles and two Finals MVP award. While he joined the Warriors to win championships, he also can't help but notice players around the league cashing in big time since the salary cap exploded in 2016, which helped Golden State land Durant.
Last year, Golden State gave two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry a $201 million extension. A pair of Durant's former teammates and fellow MVPs Russell Westbrook ($205 million) and James Harden ($228 million) also secured the bag since the 2017 offseason.
At 30 years old, Durant realizes he won't have many more opportunities to maximize his dollars in the NBA. That's why this upcoming offseason could be different than recent ones.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers let it be known this past offseason that the team would give Durant "whatever he wants" in terms of a contract, via the Mercury News:
That will likely be every interested team's approach next summer as well.
Of note, Durant signed a 10-year endorsement deal with Nike in 2014 that Darren Rovell and Marc Stein reported could reach $300 million in value. That came on the heels of his seven-year, $60 million pact with the Swoosh.
Golden State will have plenty of decisions to make in the coming summers. Both Durant and Klay Thompson can test the market next year, and Draymond Green's contract runs through the 2019-20 season. If the team is looking to re-sign all three stars, it won't come cheap.