I will be the first to say it. I didn’t think that Durant would leave OKC. Heck, OKC didn’t think Durant would leave OKC. However that is just what the superstar has done. Durant is will sign a two-year, $54.3 million contract with the already well stacked Golden State Warriors. The deal will also include a player option after the first year.
“The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction,” Durant wrote. “But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth. “With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.” “It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career.”
Of course this takes us right into how will Stephen Curry feel about sharing the limelight with Durant? If they don’t win it all this year will the two-time reigning MVP who can become a free agent after next season leave? That is a real possibility. Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will all make more than Curry this season after this deal. Durant’s contract can be finalized July 7, when a league wide moratorium is lifted on signings and trades. Warriors coach Steve Kerr pretty much got the news the same time as the rest of us. He was in Hawaii when then news about Durant joining Golden State broke. On July 7 Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes will become an unrestricted free as the Warriors are expected to renounce their rights to them. Don’t feel to bad for Barnes though. In this salary cap craziness the Dallas Mavericks already committed to a four-year $94.4 million deal with him. The Golden State Warriors won 73 games last season on the way to setting an NBA regular-season record. With Durant in on the team. Can they match or even break that record? Cleveland Cavaliers has to be the team that hates this move the most as they barely made it past the Warriors.
“Kevin made an indelible mark on the Thunder organization and the state of Oklahoma as a founding father of this franchise,” Presti said. “We can’t adequately articulate what he meant to the foundation of this franchise and our success. While clearly disappointing that he has chosen to move on, the core values that he helped establish only lead to us thanking him for the many tangible and intangible ways that he helped our program.” ~Thunder general manager Sam Presti