Kevin Durant seems to be all about winning at this stage of his career, and he’s proving that with his willingness to take less money to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors.
UPDATE (Monday, July 2 at 6:18 p.m. ET): The terms of Durant’s new contract with the Warriors has been reported by ESPN’s Chris Haynes and USA Today’s Sam Amick. He took a massive discount.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Warriors, in the time since they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals last month, reportedly have agreed to re-sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
Golden State being able to give raises to these two important role players was helped by Durant taking less money than he could have to re-sign with the club. Marcus Thompson of The Mercury News reported the details Monday.
“Durant, according to multiple sources, is not just passing on the new maximum contract he could get, which would start at $34.65 million,” Thompson writes. “His plan is to also not to take entire raise he is eligible for, which would start his salary at $31.6 million.
“Could he go as low as $28 million? Or $25 million?”
Durant signed a one-year contract that included a player option for 2017-18 with the Warriors last summer after deciding to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder as an unrestricted free agent. Durant, since joining Golden State, has publicly stated how much he’s enjoyed playing for the Warriors and being in the Bay Area.
So, this development, while a little surprising, does make sense. Durant won his first championship last month and the Warriors are committed to winning many more in the short term — they also reportedly have agreed to re-sign superstar guard Stephen Curry to a super max contract worth more than $200 million.
Keeping this team together will be expensive because of luxury tax payments, but as Thompson outlines, Durant leaving millions of dollars on the table would help ease those concerns a bit.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady consistently has taken less money on his contracts to help the team build a sustainable winner. Durant appears to be following the same model with the Warriors, and it’s a smart move.
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