Kevin Durant takes pay cut to stay with Golden State

By AP,

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    One day shy of a year after announcing his decision to join the powerful Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant has accepted a major pay cut to help make sure they stay winners and chase more championships.

    Durant wants to build a dynasty alongside Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, agreeing to terms Monday on a contract worth approximately $US53 million over the next two years, according to confidential sources.

    The deal, which won’t become official until the end of the free agency moratorium period on Thursday, is worth about $25 million in the first year with a player option for the second season.

    As he planned all along to provide the Warriors with financial flexibility, Durant waited as Golden State general manager Bob Myers signed the other free agents – Curry for a record $201 million over five years; 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala on a three-year contract with $48 million guaranteed; fellow key reserves Shaun Livingston for $24 million and three years, and veteran David West on a one-year deal with a minimum $2.3 million.

    Durant declined on Thursday to opt for the $27.7 million second year of his previous deal with the Warriors and become an unrestricted free agent. The move was expected as Durant did his part to keep the core of the star-studded roster intact. He could have signed a max deal that would have paid him millions more next season.

    When the season ended, Durant made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere. The 28-year-old had been projected to earn a 20 per cent raise over the $26.5 million he made last season, which would have been about $31.8 million.

    Durant missed 19 games with a left knee injury before returning late in the regular season then declared he would take his game to another level come playoff time.

    He sure did. Durant averaged 28.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists and shot 55.6 per cent, scoring more than 30 points in nine of his 15 games. He also emerged as a smothering defender, handling much of the load against LeBron James during the Finals.

    The Warriors beat James and the Cavaliers in five games for their second title in three seasons, and Durant’s first after he departed Oklahoma City to join a super team.

    A year ago on July 4, Durant announced his decision to leave the Thunder after Curry, Green, Iguodala and Klay Thompson travelled to the Hamptons to make their group plea for him.

    The scrutiny came immediately: Would there be enough shots to go around? How would Curry respond to no longer being the biggest Bay Area basketball star? How long would it take for chemistry to develop?

    All of those things were pretty much moot.

    The Warriors just kept winning, and their championship said it all. Every team is now chasing the franchise.

    Ten years after becoming the No. 2 draft pick behind Greg Oden, Durant hoisted a trophy and will have his ring at last.

    © AP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • July 4th 2017 @ 1:40pm
      KingCowboy said | July 4th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

      Still a sell out, should of stayed with Russ and won it with OKC!

      • July 4th 2017 @ 8:40pm
        Mushi said | July 4th 2017 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

        How many players were okc loyal to?

        • July 6th 2017 @ 1:39am
          express34texas said | July 6th 2017 @ 1:39am | ! Report

          They were loyal to KD. It’s not about being loyal or not, you’re not going to keep players around that you don’t think you will help you win a championship.

          KD certainly contradicted himself, but very few supposed all-time greats didn’t have amazing casts. Some are lucky to start with amazing casts(Magic, Russell) and some are lucky their organizations built within(KD included). But, KD definitely was the player of the playoffs and certainly outplayed James, he deserves a lot of credit.

          • July 6th 2017 @ 11:05am
            mushi said | July 6th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

            The reason the loyalty comment matters is the description of him as a sell-out which means he broke a social contract for some material gain. Any implied social contract was broken by the NBA teams a long long time ago.

            They weren’t “loyal” to KD.

            Keeping around an MVP winner on a max money contract (ie massively outperforms his salary) isn’t loyalty that’s just rational thinking. That’s like staying “loyal” to an employee that generates double the sales, on the same salary and at half the risk of anyone else in the company.

            The thunder never had their loyalty tested towards KD, they did to others and as you yourself said they chose value each and every time.

            Were they loyal to the city that drafted Durant. Oh wait nope – they chose their list of priorities over the social contact.

            Hell they even chose to avoid the luxury tax versus production in the Harden trade so hard to call anyone on that roster a sell out when ownership basically put up a metaphorical neon sign saying:

            THE THUNDER – WHERE IT’S ALL ABOUT WINNING (provided it doesn’t cost too much)

            KD just did what teams do every single year, made a cold assessment of the available options and took the one with the highest return.

            I’m a thunder fan. I get why Clay stole the team from Seattle. I also understand the rationale behind the Harden trade. But we can’ t move 6/7 guys, trade away a core player for salary relief and then bang the loyalty/sell out drum. Hell there was a stretch there where thunder fans were baying for westbrook to be traded so it’s not as if the fan base is really that loyal to the players.

            I just think it defies logic and intellectual honesty to on one hand support roster moves by the team but then lambast someone else for the exact same decision making process.

            • July 7th 2017 @ 12:38am
              express34texas said | July 7th 2017 @ 12:38am | ! Report

              OKC’d be broke if they stayed in SEA probably. That’s at least partly on the city.

              They actually offered Harden a contract which was almost as much as HOU offered him, but he chose free agency. Though it makes little sense to pay 3 guys max money back then or maybe even now still, especially when all 3 guys are very similar players and don’t complement each other the best. What Harden was worth to HOU or almost any other team was more than what he was worth to OKC. They offered him something like 13-14 million/year as a 3rd/4th option coming off the bench. Looks pretty good to me.

              OKC isn’t banging the ‘loyalty’ drum. But, at the same time, KD is a sell-out. KD contradicts himself, because he said the same thing about guys like James in the past, and then he goes and does the same thing. OKC’s failures in the playoffs, particularly in 2016, rests primarily with KD struggling late in games to close out GS in the WCF. He got a little scared and bailed out, while he had enough help to win.

              I’m not lambasting him, but he wussed out in my opinion, and that his words/actions need to be consistent. His title win means much less with GS than if he had won with OKC. Same thing with James having 2 super teams rather than staying in CLE, where his teams had the best regular season 2x before flaming out before even making the Finals. But, since he’s a media darling, most don’t think the same thing.

              • July 7th 2017 @ 10:14am
                mushi said | July 7th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

                I’ll look at the loyalty drum thing / Sell out first as the rest kind of rolls off that.

                If you don’t think the loyalty drum is being played then you must have missed all the references to he should have stayed in OKC (which has a pretty heavy implication of loyalty as no one give s a rational one) and the articles/comments about fans feeling betrayed? How can one feel betrayed if one doesn’t feel some loyalty was owed?

                And again to be a sell out he has to be breaking a social contract. I’m arguing no team (or fan base) enters into said social contract in good faith as they have no intention of honouring it (see league article on right to boo players) which you agreed with repeatedly. As such the social contract is null and void. It’s a got a bit of master and slave feel to this.

                Seattle broke is alarmist, it ignores the change in the revenue now shared between the leagues teams – but again I do get why he did it. My point was that there was also a very murky cloud over his “good faith” attempts – which was a differentiating feature of the bid. So did he mislead the fans of Seattle to get their frnachise?

                Hardens contract from Houston was more than 15% more per year (so ~9m more over the same number of years) and an additional year (so 25m more additional guaranteed). That is a material gap. I get why they didn’t do it, but at the same time it sends a message about spending to win (same thing was sighted around LeBron leaving Miami). Also Harden was miffed as he believed there was an unwritten promise that him sacrificing minutes and starting would mean he got looked after financially. Again it’s a story of a one way street.

                Yes Durant chose the easiest path to win. That’s what you are saying the teams are doing right? That is basically the definition of economically rational. It’s just a double standard in you want to see maintained.

              • July 8th 2017 @ 2:28am
                express34texas said | July 8th 2017 @ 2:28am | ! Report

                Maybe by fans, but not by the organization of OKC, as far as loyalty goes. But, just because someone says/thinks KD should’ve stayed in OKC(as do I), that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with loyalty(which loyalty isn’t even apart of why I think he should’ve stayed in OKC). If you’re an OKC fan, why wouldn’t you feel betrayed? They gave KD everything and a title-caliber cast for years, and he wussed out because he couldn’t get the job done.

                I’m not preaching loyalty. It’s a business for everyone involved. But, I feel it was weak by KD to leave, especially with the position he was in on a great team. Most seem to feel the same way. He can make his own decisions, though I don’t like how he contradicts himself, that’s weak-minded. James did something very similar, though James was probably even in a better position, having the top team for in CLE and then failing to make the Finals either, and in the weaker East. Of course OKC’s fans will be bummed out, their team is clearly not as good anymore. What, you expect them to be happy? Your rational is confusing.

                OKC very fairly compensated Harden and were clearly ‘loyal’ to him, or whatever you want to call it, if that’s important to you. He chose a different path to become a greater player, which I applaud him for. Him not chosing to stay in OKC is much different than KD not choosing to stay in OKC. Harden was much too good to be 3rd/4th wheel coming off the bench, and now he’s a perennial MVP candidate.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 4th 2017 @ 1:55pm
      At work said | July 4th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

      This is what the new increased salary cap is allowing; he’s not far off what would have been considered (a few years ago) as the top tier salary, so taking a ‘pay cut’ isn’t really noticeable to him.

      Wow Curry’s contract is massive!
      Happy that kept Iguodala, he deserved a contract extension.

      • July 4th 2017 @ 2:25pm
        KingCowboy said | July 4th 2017 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

        luxury tax is coming to get them!

        • Roar Guru

          July 5th 2017 @ 7:38am
          Red Kev said | July 5th 2017 @ 7:38am | ! Report

          Half the NBA will be in the luxury tax next season.

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