It has been imminent for a while now that Kevin Durant was going to opt out of his contract with the Golden State Warriors.
Durant has said he’s going to remain with the team, though, and management has gone out of its way to assure that Durant will be back.
In terms of significance going forward, the Durant situation is obviously the team’s top priority this offseason, although it doesn’t have much suspense attached to it.
ESPN has reported that Durant has officially let the Warriors know that he will opt out of the 2 years $51 million deal he signed last offseason. Durant is now eligible to re-sign with the Warriors this offseason for a max contract worth $158 million for 4 years.
There’s nothing shocking about this development, and it’s really just a procedural step that had to be taken at some point.
The question regarding Durant this offseason isn’t about whether or not he’s going to remain on the Warriors. He’s going to be vying for his 3rd championship in as many seasons as a member of this Warriors squad next season.
The real unknown is going to involve the parameters of the new contract that Durant agrees to with the team this offseason.
He sacrificed money to originally join this team during the 2016 offseason, and the team sounds like they’re ready to reward that selflessness.
The NBA has a soft salary cap, meaning that teams can exceed the salary cap in order to re-sign their own players. There are luxury tax thresholds that teams have to pay if their payroll passes certain thresholds, but the Warriors ownership have remained committed to paying any luxury tax necessary to keep this core together.
Stephen Curry got his max deal last offseason, and it looks like the team is going to be similarly rewarding Durant this offseason.