Kevin Durant Signs With Warriors

JULY 7TH: The signing is official, the team announced.

JULY 4TH: After nine years with the franchise, Kevin Durant has decided to leave the Thunder and will join the Warriors. Durant formally announced his decision on Monday morning in a post on The Players’ Tribune. Per ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter), the deal will be a two-year pact worth about $54.3MM, with a player option for that second year.Kevin Durant vertical

“The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction,” Durant wrote. “But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth. With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.

“It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career,” Durant added.

Although the team wasn’t formally allowed to speak to him until this past Friday, the Warriors’ pursuit of Durant has been ongoing for months, with Golden State players remaining in contact with him, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets.

Wojnarowski adds that the Warriors sold Durant on the opportunity to win multiple titles together, and to ease Stephen Curry‘s workload. Durant will join a stacked Golden State roster that will feature not just Curry, but Klay Thompson and Draymond Green as well, creating an incredibly imposing “big four” — all four players earned spots on one of the 2016 All-NBA teams earlier this year.

[RELATED: Updated Warriors’ depth chart at]

With Durant on the way, the Warriors will need to clear the cap space necessary to sign him to his new contract. The most logical roster move for Golden State looks like a trade of center Andrew Bogut, who is set to earn $12,681,081 in 2016/17. According to Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter), at least three teams have expressed interest in acquiring Bogut.

Meanwhile, restricted free agent Harrison Barnes will also be headed elsewhere as a result of the Durant acquisition. The Mavericks are expected to offer Barnes a max deal when the July moratorium ends on Thursday, so Dallas could very well be his next destination. The Warriors may rescind Barnes’ cap hold, allowing him to sign with the Mavs as an unrestricted free agent — per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link), the team is doing just that with Festus Ezeli‘s QO, which will make him a UFA.

Once the Dubs officially get Durant under contract, the team will likely just have the room exception – worth about $3MM – and the minimum-salary exception to fill out its roster. Given the free-agent prices we’ve seen so far this week, that money may not go far, but it’s also entirely possible that veterans seeking a title will want to join the Warriors’ stacked squad and will be willing to take a pay cut to do so.

As for the teams that failed to land Durant, the Thunder are obviously the most interesting case. With Russell Westbrook a year from free agency himself, Oklahoma City may have to seriously consider the possibility of exploring the trade market for Westbrook, rather than risking having him leave for nothing. However, now that they won’t be paying Durant $26MM+ in 2016/17, the Thunder have a little flexibility to try to go out and fortify the roster with another free agent addition, so GM Sam Presti will have some difficult decisions to make.

The Heat, meanwhile, now have the opportunity to mend fences with Dwyane Wade since the team won’t need a huge chunk of cap space for Durant. The Spurs will likely move on to other free agent pursuits — they’re currently considered a frontrunner for Pau Gasol. The Celtics were at least able to add a top-five free agent over the weekend by reaching an agreement with Al Horford, so they’ve improved their roster this week and still have cap room and assets to make additional moves. As for the Clippers, they were informed earlier in the process that they were out of the running for Durant, and have already begun reaching deals with their own free agents, including Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers.

With Durant eligible for an increased maximum salary a year from now, and Curry’s contract also set to expire next summer, the Warriors are on track to finalize a pair of massive contracts in 2017, assuming Durant does indeed sign a long-term deal with the team at that point.

Because Golden State will only have Durant’s Non-Bird rights in 2017, the club will have to make sure it has enough cap room to fit the former MVP’s new max salary (approximately $35MM) next summer, unless he’s willing to take a much more modest raise. For now, keeping that cap room available doesn’t look like it should be a problem for the Warriors, who only have two guaranteed salaries – Thompson’s and Green’s – on the books for 2017/18

With Durant’s decision now official, the rumor mill for the free agent market figures to come back to life — there had been little free-agent news this morning, as the league waited for the star forward to announce his destination.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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95 thoughts on “Kevin Durant Signs With Warriors

  1. Thronson5

    How do they afford this and afford to have a bench? Lol. Awesome for them and their fans. Now Westbrook can come home and play for the Lakers next off season lol

    • Mainly because Klay and Draymond aren’t on real max contracts and Curry is still signed on a bargain deal. Although the only significant bench players they have now are Livingston and Iguodala. Bogut, Barnes, Ezeli all have to be let go. And the Warriors are going to have to fill their roster with guys willing to take the minimum as any long term contract will hurt their cap for next year when Curry and Durant need an extension.

  2. aarongill

    Kd is a coward. Ran into the Warriors and was one game away from the finals but he and Westbrook went Clippers mode and chocked. I guess the saying is right, if you can’t beat em, join em!

  3. Should we just give the championship to the Warriors at this point?

    On a different note, I want to see the backlash Durant gets now. I’m a huge Durant fan (and not a OKC, Spurs, Heat, Celtics fan so I’m not a butthurt fan) but I imagine he has to get some criticism for this. LeBron got absolutely roasted when he went to Miami (mainly for The Decision and the “not one, not two…” thing) but also because the feeling was that he had to team up in order to win a ring. Durant is doing the exact same thing (which I wasn’t opposed to when LeBron did and now when Durant is doing it) but he’s now also joining the team that he can’t beat (which would be similar to if LeBron joined Boston during their Big Three Era). I’m not saying he deserves the criticism, but he should get some considering LeBron did the exact same thing.

    • aarongill

      Kd isn’t my favorite player now that Kobe is retired. He was gonna be if he stayed but I guess not. Probably won’t even be buying his shoes or clothes from here on. Paul George is my favorite player now.

    • 333ddd1

      Lebron was from Ohio though, so it was a little different. Plus, he was going to win a few rings at most, but I have to imagine that people would respect that KD wants to join the team that gives him the best chance at legend status and dynasty and all that

  4. And we criticized Lebron when he went to Miami. Now we can root against warriors

  5. mgraub00

    I don’t understand the KD can’t lead a team narrative. He’s done that well in OKC. That and he’s definitely not a coward. (I don’t understand why people feel the need to hurl insults at people they don’t even know, it’s just sports people).

    I love the idea of being motivated by personal growth. It’s the whole, you never know until you try mantra. He decides it’s not for him he can return to OKC next year and they rebuild around him, probably without Westbrook.

    From an Golden State perspective, Bogut and Barnes are out, and I’m not sure how they’re going to field a bench. I’m curious how Durant fits into this team from a leadership perspective as well. Green specifically needs the what Durant can offer.

    • I think part of the “KD can’t lead a team” thing is because he’s had a really good supporting cast around him the past few years (Harden, Westbrook, Ibaka) yet only one finals appearance. Injuries to both Durant and others hurt the Thunder’s chances of getting to the Finals but it still doesn’t change that he’s only led the Thunder to one finals appearance. LeBron on the other hand was also only able to lead the pre-Decision Cavs to one finals appearance, but that team had much less talent than the team Durant has been surrounded with (I mean the best players with LeBron were Mo Williams, Antwan Jamison, and Shaq/Big Z while Durant has had Westbrook, Ibaka, Harden, and Adams).

  6. Ravens_Last_Place

    Wow. Kiss Westbrook goodbye next year now!

    Also – major LOL at all Celtics fans who thought he would actually go there!

    • CircusFresh

      wow the other posters are correct.

      You cannot post anything without a shot at Boston.

      Son, you have a condition.

      • Ravens_Last_Place

        No I don’t.

        PS – I play for the Celtics. Don’t want to blow my cover. Shhhh

  7. Also, if the Warriors don’t win a championship this year…that team is going to be absolutely killed by the media and fans.

  8. CTBrowns

    The Celtics are going to at least put in a bid for Westbrook. They’d be insane not to. Certainly have the draft pick inventory, as well as Smart and if needs be Thomas.

  9. DannyQ3913

    #76ers Okafor, Our pick, Lakers pick, Saric, 2019 Kings pick for #RussellWestbrook

    • GoPackGo23

      I don’t get all the bashing of if you were in his spot you wouldn’t go to the team that gives you the best chance of winning? He’s played 9 years in OKC and hadn’t won one. OKC had plenty of off-seasons to bring in another star to play with KD and Russell and didn’t do it. So Lebron was a coward for going to win championships? Just like you or I would leave a company for another if it put you in a better position Durant did the same thing

      • aarongill

        Thunder really didn’t have money to grab another star. I hate Lebron so yeah I call him a coward but at least he want back.

      • mgraub00

        YES. Finally. People let their personal objections get in the way of actual motives. These are real people with real lives and real families. Not just fictional stars. We all take such pride tossing them around without really having any insight into the particulars of things.

        OKC did well with what they had and I honestly think Durant thought he was going back, especially after the Ibaka trade, which was genius, in my opinion. He was probably blown away by Golden State and intrigued by the unknown.

  10. Lethal

    I don’t get all the hate in the comments, so a player chose to go to a different team. So what, time to be adults. Every single one of us would do the same thing (leave our current situation if a better opportunity arose)

    • CrushCity

      That is not true. when you’re already making millions and will never have to work again, nor than money factors into it. I wouldn’t want to join a bandwagon city. I may join the Clippers or Spurs if I wanted the chance to be a part of a real structured team with a solid fanbase.

      • Lethal

        Did you just cite the Clippers as a “structured team”? Now that’s funny! When will fans realize players are not fans, they are employees in a big business and free enterprise exists for all of us.

      • chickenparm311

        “I wouldn’t join a bandwagon city. I would join the Clippers.”


    • No one is really faulting KD for choosing to go to a better team. This hate is the exact same that LeBron got. I don’t know how you felt about The Decision, but if you ripped LeBron at all for that, then that is why Durant is getting ripped.

      • mgraub00

        You have to say that Durant carried it out in a much more humble manner. Though LeBron has matured a lot since then. You can rip these guys for putting themselves in a better position to win. Is there something to be said for loyalty? Absolutely. It is a shame we don’t see more one team in their career players anymore.

  11. mbgutt

    Glad I am not a fan of the so called association. I thought MLB was bad. So much for a hard cap. LOL!

  12. SyzeOner

    Seriously what a weak move. I guess it’s just like igoudala if u can’t beat em join em. What’s the point of joining a loaded team takes all the fun out-of the sport.

    • SeanS

      We rip players for putting their ego above the team and for cash grabs over all else. KD put aside his ego to play with guys he respects and enjoys being around to win titles…so we rip him for that too.

  13. Pihc123

    I feel really bad if the OKC fans. As a Cavs fan, I’ve been through this before.

    At first glance, this seems to be the monster team of all time. How ever, I wonder how KD will feel about not getting the ball like he did in OKC. Klay and steph aren’t going to share. There’s only so many shots during a game. Could have some major chemistry issues.

  14. jeffy25

    Obviously this is a beast of a team.

    But with not much bench help, and needing to lose Bogut. Could they actually be a worse team?

    Durant is a beast, and the shooting on this team will be unreal.

    But the fits aren’t perfect and I think their defense could be worse.

    Any one else thinking that’s possible?

    • Z.....

      They lose rim protection from bogut and ezili, but Durant and Barnes are somewhat comparable defenders. Durant has more length, so the death lineup could be more disruptive. They still have draymond for rim protection, and Jones will probably replace Ezili once he is healthy. They need another rim protector. One thing they do lose though is some of the unheralded things you can do with bogut in certain sets offensively

  15. Hahahahahahaha I told you all yesterday….

    Now all the Warriors have to do is get Gasol to
    Take that mid-level exception…yessssss…

    Gasol – Green – Durant – Thompson – Curry

    Iggy – Livingston – Barbosa – Mcadoo – Jones – Rush – Clark

    = 2017, 2018, 2019 NBA Champions…..

  16. cjh815

    There no Guarantee he will win anything. . If he don’t win title there he will be season as over pay over hype player. . I think it be funny if Washington win NBA title and him and golden st. Don’t . He would be the first time . Great play on sports went champ chasing and end up with nothing . And thought he will be happy on golden state mite end with him to begging to be traded I. Couple years

  17. cjh815

    I see it 2year deal with one year opt out. So he could only be there one year and if they don’t win he could leave next year so .will see like said before there no guarantee he will win anything NBA title there so will see . Like said it be so funny if wizards or okc win a title before Durant and warriors do.

    • Obviously you don’t read anything because everyone (except you) knew that Durant was going to sign a two year deal with an opt out in order to sign the max 10-year veteran contract next offseason (which I think is 35% of the cap as opposed to 30%).

  18. bsteady powers

    It’s never OVER on paper. They have to gel, mesh as a team. If they lose Barnes and Bogut they lose some length. Just some deeper things to think about. There is only one ball to shoot and one net to be shooting in. Now all that to say, I think they’ll gel just fine and be great. Great, but not unbeatable. They didn’t sign LBJ or MJ. Main thing is to always have 1 of them on the floor. Never any letup

  19. aarongill

    Who’s going to play center if they lose Barnes, Bogut and Ezeli? Is Perkins going to join them or what?

  20. Robert

    He gets to go where he wants; in his note it sounded like he wanted to live in/be part of the Bay Area; he gets to do that, right?

    But, here’s what I started thinking about….Does this create an opening for KLove and Westbrook, UCLA roommates and friends, to reunite? Cleveland won, sure, but KLove wasn’t a great fit there, and he’s soaking up a lot of $ for a team that will have serious problems putting a bench together next year. So, what about a deal that has, at its core, Love for either Kanter or Adams? you could even wait two months, for the traded players to become eligible, and make Oladipo and Ilyasova the centerpiece of the deal.


    • Unless they got an assurance that trading for Love would mean Westbrook stays, I don’t think they would do that. Kanter would probably be the guy that OKC would prefer to move, but Cleveland would probably one of Adams/Oladipo who I doubt they would trade for Love (Adams, in my opinion, is younger and contributes more than Love while Oladipo is a young guy they can build around)

  21. cjh815

    Ow bye the way with Durant goes to golden state how about this a three team deal . Okc , clippers, and cavs

    Clippers get
    Cav get Paul
    Okc gets Irving and Thompson
    And Wade signs with cavs

  22. Miklo916

    This fool is weak. After post 6 yrs ago bout how everybody wants to play for heat and lakers on Twitter. And then do this. Garbage

  23. Z.....

    Called it over 2 years ago. This team is deadly this year. Not going to be much around them, but that won’t be too difficult to fill in. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Igoudala, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Shaun Livingston off the bench is a ridiculous 6 man core. They’ll have to trade bogut, and lose Ezili, but they do have Damian Jones to replace him when he comes back from his pectoral injury. They’ll need another defensive oriented big. They also drafted a 2 guard to replace Barbosa. It will be interesting to see how they fill out the roster. As of right now though, it’s hard to see any reason that the Golden State Warriors could lose next year, but that being said, I never thought they’d lose at any point in the last 2, before they did…would have liked to see him stay in okc with a player like Westbrook , but they messed up too many times, and now we get to see 2 individual greats do their own thing, which is exciting. That being said, it would have been fun to have seen him end up here in Miami. At least he didn’t go to Boston….

    Now that this is over…..WE WANT WADE

    • Z.....

      its being reported that the Warriors are trying to keep Brandon Rush with his early bird rights. I dont see that happening. Rush can probably get more money than that, as 3 and D wings are so valuable right now, and most every team needs them. If they keep him, that just adds to that amazing roster, and is one less piece they need to fill on that bench

      • Z.....

        ….and as I said on another article, it would be interesting to see if they can get David West to take the minimum again to replace Mo Buckets

  24. Cochise

    Who cares hope Westbrook leaves too do OKC can fail and we can get our damn Sonics back



  26. Z.....

    Now that we’ve all analyzed the impact on the Warriors, what are everyone’s thoughts on OKC moving forward?

    I’m left wondering where this leaves OKC. Westbrook is a free agent next season, and they traded Ibaka. That being said, they still have a nice start to retooling or rebuilding this team. Will they trade Westbrook, assuming he will leave next year too, or will they try to retool around him, Victor Oladipo, and Steven Adams? They are stuck with that Enes Kanter contract, which isnt as terrible under this new salary cap, but is still bad. They really lack shooting, after losing KD. I dont know if they look to keep Dion Waiters, but the fit doesnt make much sense for that. If they could add a couple of shooters on the wing, at the 2 or 3 spots, that would fill their biggest need, and give Westbrook room to work with. It would definitely help if Oladipo continues to improve that outside shot too. This could finally open up playing time for Mitch McGary at the 4. He is really skilled, and I’m interested to see what he can do, assuming he can stay healthy. They also obviously got Sabonis in the Ibaka trade, and he is a really interesting, and skilled big. I still think they can be pretty good this year if they can finally play the right way. Obviously, if they trade Westbrook, thats a different direction. Regardless of everything, this isnt like Cleveland. OKC is still in pretty decent shape. Sam Presti did a decent job of recovering from other mistakes, and making sure to have a contingency in place, in case this happened. I’m pretty excited to see Westbrook get a chance to lead his own team, regardless of where it may end up being. Personally, I hope he stays in OKC, at this point

    • Z.....

      Personally, I hope he stays in OKC, at this point, but I’d have to guess its unlikely, with everything we see nowadays. The incentive to stay with your own team isnt very high over these couple of years b/c the money is still exorbitant, and comparable, and then if you take a short deal with someone, you can get even more, as the salary cap will still increase exponentially next year. Then, there is also a lot of pressure to win now for these stars, and with all the talent in the league, there are going to always be a lot of guys that go home considering their season a failure b/c obviously, not everyone can win at the same time. So, in their minds, they have a better shot if they go elsewhere

  27. jrwhite21

    Fully understand why he would want to join GSW…..but not sure why he (or anyone for that matter) would ever want to spend that much time in Oakland…….

  28. TJECK109

    I’m sorry but anyone that watched the finals had to see that the cavs simply muscled the Warriors. With Bogut being gone who clogs up the middle when needed.

  29. Giants51

    Can’t believe the money that’s being thrown around….. The fans will take it in the wallet …… Unbelievable

  30. Okc fan

    Wonder how KD will handle taking all the blame if they do not win. In 9 years it has always been Russell fault if they lost.

  31. bsteady powers

    They have been lucky on the injury front. One big injury and they’re a 4/5 seed

  32. bsteady powers

    Wouldn’t of been so bad if he had made this decision earlier and gave OKC the chance to sign other players. He just stuck it to them. And Russ took it on the chin. He gonna ball so hard

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