No matter what happens during the Warriors quest for a fourth-consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, Kevin Durant will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, according to ESPN.
Durant has a $26.2 million player option that he is expected to decline to set himself up for a much larger contract for the 2018-19 season and beyond.
A nine-time All-Star, Durant is a four-time league scoring champ and won the regular-season MVP award in 2013-14.
Last summer, Kevin Durant accepted a deal well below his market value.
By making less money than a player of his level, Durant enabled the Warriors to keep players like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston on their roster. Since there are no real incentives for Durant or for his team to take such a drastic reduction in pay this time around, it is therefore justified that Durant opt-out to seek for a better contract this time around.
Under these terms, Durant would again be able to opt out of the deal after two seasons to seek a five-year deal worth in the region of $228 million, with the first year alone worth $39.4 million. Each year of his deal could escalate. The financial terms of the deal raised eyebrows as a player of Durant's caliber could have commanded around $10 million more on a max salary. There are several options for Durant and the Warriors, including another two-year deal or a four-year max contract valued at around $158 million.
In 68 games, he is averaging 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game.
He's having a great season this year, but he hasn't been at peak form.