There was never a doubt that Kevin Durant would re-sign with the back-to-back NBA champions, but there were questions as to how long his deal might be.
On July 1, the first day of free agency, the nine-time NBA All-Star intends to sign a one-and-one deal to remain with the Golden State Warriors, league sources told ESPN.
The second year will contain a player option, sources say.
The contract is for $30 million for next year and $31.5 million for the option year, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
The $5 million savings this year offsets the $5.3 million midlevel tax if Golden State elects to use it. Durant would save the Warriors $20 million in projected luxury-tax costs.
Durant, 30, the winner of the past two Finals MVP awards, insures that the Hamptons Five of Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala will be in Warriors’ uniforms for at least one more season.
Golden State has won three championships in four years and is aimed and well-equipped to secure more.
To enter free agency, the 7-foot small forward declined his 2018-19 player option worth $26.2 million. It was the last year of a two-year pact in which he took approximately $10 million less than his maximum salary in 2017 in order for the team to re-sign Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
There was no true team incentive for Durant to take such a pay cut this offseason, and being that he will turn 30 in September, there was little belief that he would be willing to accept reduced pay this time.
After Durant led the team to an impressive sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State general manager Bob Myers said he was prepared to give Durant “whatever” he wanted in free agency.
“Sometimes you don’t negotiate,” he said days after winning the title. “I’d love to have him for 10 years. Kevin Durant, look what he did for us last year. He did us a great service. He’s earned the right to sign whatever deal he wants. I just want him to sign a deal. But want him to be happy and want him to know that we want him as long as he wants to be here. He’s earned that, to kind of lay out the terms. He can do whatever he wants.
“That shouldn’t be a long negotiation. Our goal, to be honest, is to try to keep the whole thing together, so that’s the pieces of the puzzle we’ve got to try to figure out.”
In his 11th season, his second with the Warriors, Durant averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He shot 51 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range and 89 percent at the charity stripe in 68 games.
He was named to the All-NBA First-Team, his sixth time.
The New York Times was first to report Durant’s decision.