According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Kevin Durant will opt out his current deal with the Golden State Warriors and enter unrestricted free agency.
However it seems unlikely this is to be courted by other teams, as this is to allow him to restructure a new deal with the Warriors.
The two-year,$51 million contract Durant signed last offseason allowed Golden State to hang on to Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala.
“His gesture of taking less gave us the ability to be very aggressive in pursuing Shaun and Andre,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in July. “I can pretty much unequivocally say, without it, we’re not looking at the team we have right now. What Kevin did shows who he is, shows what he’s about, and I think it’s clear that that’s winning. Without him doing that it would have been a different roster, and clearly to me, a roster that wasn’t as good as the one we have right now.”
Bobby Marks of ESPN accessed Durant’s options:
Option A: He can sign a two-year deal with a 2019-20 player option in which the first-year earnings would be $30 million and the option year worth $31.5 million. The only benefit in signing this contract is that the salary cap is expected to jump from $101 million (2018-19) to $108 million (2019-20). Durant could then opt out after the 2018-19 season and sign a five-year, $219 million contract. It would be the largest deal in NBA history if San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard doesn’t sign a super max this summer.
Nonetheless, the Warriors’ luxury tax bill in 2019 would be astronomical. Durant’s five-year income breakdown would be $37.8 million, $40.8 million, $43.8 million, $46.8 million and $49.9 million.
Option B: He can sign a four-year max contract valued at around $158 million. His annual pay would be $35.3 million, $38.2 million, $41 million and $43.8 million.
Option C: He can agree to a three-year deal with a player option after the second season. His income would go from $35.3 million to $38.2 million, and the option year would be $41 million. The salary cap in 2020-21 is expected to be approximately $112 million. Or, in this scenario, Durant could opt out and sign a five-year, $228 million contract with a starting salary of $39.4 million — the same contract Anthony Davis is eligible to sign with New Orleans in 2019.
Under Option C, Durant would be eligible for a no-trade clause because he would have played four seasons with the Warriors and been in the NBA for at least eight seasons.
According to sources, it is unclear what type of deal Durant will sign but another discount is unlikely.