KD to decline option, re-sign with Warriors

KEVIN Durant is heading to free agency, but he won't exactly be on the open market.

KEVIN Durant is heading to free agency, but he won’t exactly be on the open market.

The Golden State forward intends to decline his player option for next season, then re-sign with the Warriors this summer, ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported on Tuesday night.

Durant plans to give up a guaranteed US$26.2 million for next season, but that figure remains modest for an NBA superstar. The Warriors and Durant agreed last summer to a 2-year, US$51-million deal with the player owning the opt-out option.

The discounted deal permitted the defending champions Warriors to re-sign swingman Andre Iguodala and backup guard Shaun Livingston.

As per ESPN salary-cap expert Bobby Marks, the three options Durant could be weighing for this summer are:

— A 2-year deal with a US$30-million salary for 2018-19 and a player option worth US$31.5 million for 2019-20.

— A 4-year max deal for US$158 million (US$39.5 million average annual value, with each year’s salary rising).

— A 3-year deal with guarantees of US$35.3 million for 2018-19, US$38.2 million for 2019-20, then a player option worth US$41 million for 2020-21.

The final option would make Durant eligible for a no-trade clause.

The MVP of the 2017 NBA Finals, Durant is averaging 26.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and a career-high 1.8 blocks per game this season.

Durant, 29, spent his first 9 seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics and Oklahoma City Thunder before a free-agent deal with Golden State in July 2016.

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