Durant: “I’m Planning On Staying With The Warriors”

The NBA’s two best players can reach the open market in less than a month, but while LeBron James‘ future remains up in the air, it appears Kevin Durant‘s free agency will be merely a formality. Speaking to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (video link), the All-NBA forward confirmed that he doesn’t intend to change teams this summer.

“I’m planning on staying with the Warriors,” Durant said. “We’ll figure the rest out.”

As Durant alludes to – and as Nichols notes – he and the Warriors figure to negotiate a new contract, since he’s unlikely to exercise his player option. With Durant’s Early Bird rights in hand, Golden State will be able to offer up to four years, not to mention a sizable raise. Still, the 2017 Finals MVP doesn’t sound concerned about working out those details.

Long considered likely to opt out and re-sign with Golden State, Durant opened that door a crack in a recent conversation with Sam Amick of USA Today. Speaking to Amick, Durant said he planned on sticking with the Warriors, but cautioned that “anything can happen” in the NBA. Based on his latest comments though, it sounds as if the 29-year-old has made up his mind, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Dubs won’t welcome him back, no matter the price.

With Durant’s return a virtual lock, it will simply come down to how he and the Warriors structure his next deal. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) details in his preview of Golden State’s offseason, there are three realistic scenarios: a one-year deal, a three-year deal with a player option on the third year, or a four-year deal, which could be worth a projected $158MM+.

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