Kevin Durant might be coming off one of his greatest games in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but there’s a cloud that hangs over him and the Warriors.
It’s not anything that should get in the way of Golden State’s attempts to repeat as champions, but something that is hard to shake every time Durant makes a basket.
Durant is going to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He is going to opt out of his contract to “re-structure” the deal and likely get a bit of a pay increase. That’s the assumed expectation at least.
However, while Durant has confirmed that he plans to stay with the Warriors, he made it very clear to Sam Amick of USA Today that nothing is certain in the NBA.
“Yeah, yeah,” Durant said when asked if he would be back for next season. “I feel as though (I am).
Everything, the money and stuff that’s got to, the contract got to (be) worked out, but I plan on being here.
I said that earlier this year. I didn’t plan on anything else. But this is the NBA, and anything can happen. And I know that anything can happen, (because) I’ve been a part of this league for so long now.”
Durant is probably going to re-sign with Golden State somewhere close to a max contract. He took a shocking pay cut when he re-signed the first time, but that was so the Warriors could make moves to win another championship. Now that Golden State is one win away from repeating, Durant likely sees this as a chance to get the payday someone as talented as him deserves.
What’s odd though is the last line in his quote to Amick. “Anything can happen,” Durant said. This could mean that, despite his intentions to re-sign. Durant would consider leaving Golden State if he liked a different offer elsewhere.
However, it likely has more to do with leverage in contract negotiations. Durant has to put the possibility of him leaving out there so he can get the contract he wants. He’s essentially saying that if the contract isn’t to his liking, or if he gets low-balled, then he can always leave.
After all, like he said “this is the NBA, and anything can happen.”
Source: Chris Barnewall|| CBS