The future of Durant: 31 million without playing in the Warriors?

The forward can choose, after his serious injury, to run his player option and delay 2020 on the market. Change the NBA map.


Kevin Durant was injured in the fifth game of the second round of the West, against the Rockets, on May 9. And he came back in the fifth of the Finals against the Raptors (along the way were the Blazers), one month and one day later. The Warriors lost 3-1 and faced a night of winning or surrendering their crown in Canada after losing both games at Oracle Arena, where the Final is now back for at least one more night: on Thursday the sixth game is played with the champion hurrying his options to try to be the second team to go back 3-1 in a Finals. That is, make the Raptors what the Cavaliers did to them in 2016 ... just before the arrival of Kevin Durant.

The confusion surrounding Durant has been one of the great stories of these Finals: always discarded one day before each game, his absence has been devastating in the sport for his team, also affected by the emotional management of the doubts about your situation. In an increasingly flawed environment and rumors that the player was making the necessary arrangements to return or, on the other hand, whether the Warriors were trying to force his return, KD finally jumped on the court in the fifth game, played a few fascinating minutes in which it was seen how hard the Finals would have been for the Raptors with him at full speed ... and he was injured again. After the Warriors saved the season in a final of heart attack, but tragic news came. Durant's injury is now in the Achilles tendon, and it's a break in the absence of the final tests. One of the most fearsome injuries to a basketball player. So the question is obvious and goes beyond this elimination: what now?

The player option in the Warriors is now key

Now Durant has to make a decision about a future that changes his career and, as his agent said still in the locker room of the Warriors, the entire map of the NBA. You are 30 years old, you will turn 31 before the next season begins, so it is obvious that when you decided to play this game you put your physique at risk during the fullness of your sporting life and a few weeks of becoming a free agent after a season full of rumors, almost all in the same direction: leave the Bay and start a new adventure as an alpha male in the Knicks, where is the center of their business off the slopes (something similar to the case of LeBron James with his transfer to Los Angeles) and to play in the team of his father's loves. The Clippers appeared as another option and just before his injury against the Rockets, began to circulate as a new real option his continuity in a Warriors that next season will play in the luxurious Chase Center, back in San Francisco.

Durant signed the Last season a contract in 1 + 1 format for 61.5 million. He has cashed this season 30, and he has a player option for 31.5 for the next one. It was obvious that he was not going to run and was going to become a free agent, but now this becomes a key trick in his favor. If the worst is confirmed regarding his injury and he faces a recovery time of at least one year, the forward opens the possibility of taking advantage of that unilateral option and collect those 31.5 million from the Warriors while recovering from his injury and without playing, only to later become a free agent again in 2020. A radical turnaround of the events.

Durant has handled in that 1 + 1 format since he rejected 153 million for five years of the Thunder in 2016 to join the Warriors, where he has forgiven money in previous years for the team to remain competitive: in 2017, after the first ring, its reduction allowed the Warriors to save 25 million between salary and luxury tax and thus undertake the continuity of Andre Iguodala. Now Durant wanted, in one team or another, finally sign a long contract and the maximum in the economic. In the Warriors, where Klay Thompson also ends contract and will demand a maximum that is his case will be 190 million for five years, could sign for five years 221.2 million dollars. In any other team, for 164 in four years. As a veteran with more than ten years in the NBA, he is entitled to 35% of a cap that next season will be around 109 million. The Warriors can offer one more year and an average per year higher (44 by 41 and 221 by 164 in the total), and perhaps now on their part can offer an offer (maybe not so high) that is at least a wink at the obvious risk that Durant ran out to play in Toronto.

The question is whether KD prefers to wait now for the 2020 market ... but also what their suitors will do. It would be logical that the Knicks, like crazy to get hold of him, stop nowYour intention to offer a maximum contract. It must be remembered that a similar injury left DeMarcus Cousins so frozen in the last summer market that the pivot ended precisely in the Warriors, with a one-year contract and 5.3 million. Durant is not Cousins, but such an injury requires caution in any case and in all the offices of the NBA franchises.

Your situation also affects the rest of the big fish of the market, more valuable now if the KD letter disappears from the mat and there is one less to share between both suitor (Knicks, Clippers, Lakers ...). E even affects a player with a contract like Anthony Davis. We'll see how: the Knicks, one of their suitors, can definitely focus on it if they think they can get another star (Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker ...) ... or change course and bet on the Young to see what happens with Durant in 2020. So yes, in any case, Durant's agent was right: the NBA has completely changed with this injury of which, in any case, we hope that Kevin Durant returns in the best deadlines and do it in its best version. The one of, simply, one of the best players in the history of basketball.



Photos from as.com

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