We’re more than 12 hours into NBA free agency and the Golden State Warriors have already taken care of their main priority this offseason.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reports that Kevin Durant has re-signed with the Warriors for a 2-year max contract worth $61.5 million. The second year of the contract is a player option.
While the ultimate outcome of him remaining with the Warriors was never in question, the type of contract Durant would decide to agree to was unknown.
There was speculation that he would opt for the long-term security of a 4-year deal, but he has decided to instead prioritize his flexibility with a one-and-one.
The first year of the contract is going to be worth $30 million, while that second-year player option would be worth $31.5 million.
Durant choosing this deal could have major repercussions for the Warriors later on as they seek to sign other players this offseason.
They have saved $5 million with this Durant deal, and the mid-level exception is worth $5.3 million, so this contract has essentially offset that cost.
This makes it more likely that the Warriors are going to use that mid-level exception to lure a free agent to this team.
Durant opted out of the contract he had signed the last offseason for this new deal. He sacrificed money in that previous deal in order for the team to be able to re-sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
Although this contract sets the Warriors up nicely to acquire another intriguing player with the mid-level exception, it brings with it the typical concerns of decreased security.
Durant is essentially doing a series of 1-year deals, meaning there’s always the possibility that he can leave next year if things don’t go right.
Klay Thompson is a free agent next offseason, and if Durant chooses to opt out after this season it can set up a very stressful 2019 offseason for the Warriors as they look to retain both Thompson and Durant.
They’ll cross that bridge when they get to it, though. All indications are that Durant and Thompson want to stay here for a long time.
Ownership is committed to spending however much it takes to keep this core together as this stretch of dominance continues.
What’s really important to focus on right now is that there is going to be at least another season of this incredible team together.
Durant has given himself more personal flexibility with this one-and-one deal and saved his team some money in the process.
The Warriors have taken care of their top priority, and now it’ll be interesting to see which transaction they make to follow this one.