Kevin Durant is leaving $5,654,150 on the desk subsequent season.

Why? Answering that query may go a great distance in deciphering his future with the Warriors.

Durant getting his full max wage subsequent season would’ve required locking in for not less than two extra years. As is, he signed one other 1+1 deal that may permit him to turn into an unrestricted free agent subsequent summer season.

However a 2+1 contract would have assured Durant a $38,506,482 wage in 2019-20 – about equal to his projected max for that season when he reenters free company. So, there isn’t clear monetary upside for Durant’s determination.

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Once more: Why didn’t he simply take the considerably larger wage this season? He didn’t sound fascinated with giving possession one other low cost, however he has additionally solely vaguely defined his determination.

Mark Medina of The Mercury Information on the “Yahoo Sports activities NBA: Chris Mannix” podcast:

Little doubt, from what I used to be advised when he made this determination, the principle driving power – as you alluded to – was the monetary flexibility as a result of he can get that five-year, 219 million-dollar deal.

Based mostly on the most recent cap projections, Durant might be eligible for a a five-year, $221 million contract with Golden State subsequent summer season.

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But when he signed a 2+1 deal this summer season, his projected max in 2020 can be a five-year, $235 million contract. And he would have earned an additional $5,654,150 this season.

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Right here’s the trail Durant is on and what he may’ve carried out, this yr’s precise contract and potential contract in black with precise quantities, the next contract in crimson with projected quantities (choice years in a 1+1 or 2+1 ignored, as they’d have simply been for insurance coverage and sure declined):

Was Durant involved he may get a five-year max in 2019, however 2020? That’d be odd for a famous person like him.

Does he prioritize turning into a free agent in 2023 vs. 2024 (assuming he’d get a participant choice in a five-year deal)? It’s exhausting to see a lot distinction that far out, however even there have been, he may have at all times signed a four-year deal after his 2+1 within the alternate state of affairs.

I imagine Durant and/or the Warriors are describing his present contract as only a method to arrange a long-term take care of Golden State. That offers a notion of stability that has in any other case been missing.

However that clarification simply doesn’t make monetary sense.

Don’t lose sight of the only principle: Durant sacrificed cash subsequent season as a result of he positioned larger worth on the flexibility to decide on his staff subsequent summer season relatively than being locked in with the Warriors.

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