Kevin Durant doesn’t have to worry about the Golden State Warriors playing hardball in contract negotiations this year. General manager Bob Myers said they’re prepared to give him whatever it takes.
From the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):
Durant could sign for as long as four years and about $160 million, and Myers is prepared to give him “whatever he wants.” Durant has said all along that he wants to stay put, especially after winning a pair of championships in his first two seasons with Golden State.
“Sometimes you don’t negotiate. I’d love to have him for 10 years. Kevin Durant, look what he did for us last year. He did us a great service,” Myers said. “He’s earned the right to sign whatever deal he wants. I just want him to sign a deal. But [I] want him to be happy and want him to know that we want him as long as he wants to be here. He’s earned that, to kind of lay out the terms. He can do whatever he wants. That shouldn’t be a long negotiation. Our goal, to be honest, is to try to keep the whole thing together, so that’s the pieces of the puzzle we’ve got to try to figure out.”
When Durant opts out of his contract ahead of July 1, some expect him to sign another one-plus-one deal that allows for him to re-explore free agency next summer. Not only would it give the Warriors some flexibility ahead of Klay Thompson’s free agency in 2019, but they would gain Durant’s full Bird Rights and be able to sign him to an even larger five-year deal. It also allows the two-time Finals MVP some extra leeway in deciding how much longer he wants to remain part of the Warriors.
If Durant does sign the four year deal, it’d represent something of a financial sacrifice. And that, in turn, could mean we must prepare ourselves for Thompson to sign his own extension this summer. Both long-term agreements would save the Warriors’ millions upon millions in future luxury-tax bills. And while it’s not in most players’ natures shell out discounts of any kind, however minor, this Warriors core, as Durant proved only last year, is a different breed.