OAKLAND, Calif. – Kevin Durant's contract with Warriors for next season expired on Friday night without him, making up the two-time NBA Finals MVP is a free agent – but his intention was always to stay at Golden State and sign again.
Nearly a year ago, Durant refused the second year of his deal, allowing him to continue working a more lucrative contract once the signing period begins on Saturday night.
Durant only had to inform the Warriors if he intended to get involved, and the team was prepared for this step for a long time – just a procedural decision – to know his plans for months
The 29-year-old Durant was up for four years and about 160 million dollars sign. He has made clear all his commitment to the Warriors, especially after he won a championship in his first two seasons with Golden State.
A year ago, Durant did not want to opt for the second year of his contract unrestricted free agent. This was also expected, as he wanted to do everything he could to give the franchise financial flexibility to keep the core of the team intact and hunt for more titles.
Then the Warriors won another early this month – and Durant hoisted the MVP trophy a second time.
After the season, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Golden State would reward Durant with "whatever he wants."
"Sometimes you do not bargain, I'd like to have him for 10 years, Kevin Durant, look what he did for us last year, he has done us a great service," Myers said. "He deserves the right to sign whatever he wants, I just want him to sign a contract, but he wants him to be happy and wants him to know that we want him as long as he wants to be here. He deserves this to interpret the terms that way, he can do what he wants, it should not be a long negotiation, our goal is to be honest, try to keep it together, these are the pieces of the puzzle,
Durant, recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award For last season honoring all his charity efforts, the Warriors led to a final of LeBron James and the Cavaliers averaging 28.8 points – him shot 52.6 percent and 40.9 out of 3 – 10.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.00 blocks.
That was after the last postseason, when he averaged 28.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists during the shooting of 55.6 percent, scoring more than 30 points in nine of his 15 games on the way to a first career championship in his 10th NBA season.
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