Posted on June 25, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant was expected to be the most sought-after free agent on the market this year. Rumors have circulated throughout the year about his intentions and desires, but since he decided not to talk about free agency during the season, no one really knows what he plans o doing.
But we do know one thing now—he is going to become a free agent. According to media reports, he has declined his $31.5 million option with the Warriors and will become an unrestricted free agent.
While this comes as no surprise, it will be interesting to see what teams do since whoever signs him will essentially be paying him $30+ million to rehab next year. According to the rumor mill, the market is still expected to be active for him. It seems several teams are still willing to pay the price in order to make sure they have him the following year.
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The price will be a hefty one since whoever he signs with will likely offer him the max, four years for $164 million. However, according to reports, he is considering the Warriors as well and they can offer him a five-year deal worth $221 million.
This would, of course, make it hard to resign Klay Thompson. But if the Warriors were to sign him, it would likely be as a sign and trade.
Oddsmakers have had the Knicks and Warriors favored, but the most recent odds have a new team favored to sign him—the Brooklyn Nets at EVEN money. The Knicks and Warriors follow the Nets at +300. The Clippers are at +800, then the Lakers at +900, and the Dallas Mavericks at +1000.
The odds are somewhat different from barely a week ago when the Nets odds were at +1000. But with Kyrie Irving supposedly intent on signing with the Nets, many people are starting to think Durant will follow Irving to the Nets rather than the Knicks (which had been the dominant storyline until recently).
So—where is he going to go?
It would make sense for him to sign with the Warriors and get paid a lot more than he could with anyone else. But with all the drama that has surrounded the team, i.e. friction with Draymond Green, his injury, etc., he may not trust them to complete a sign a trade.
Mark Cuban likes to be in the conversation for every marquee free agent, but he rarely seems to land them. After all the flack he took when he signed with the Warriors there is no way he joins forces with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Clippers appear to be locked in on trying to get Kawhi Leonard away from Toronto making it unlikely he goes there.
If he really is as intent on playing with Kyrie Irving as the rumor mill makes him appear, then it sounds like he will be signing with the Brooklyn Nets (who may also be looking to sign a friend of Durant’s, Deandre Jordan, as well).