The Golden State Warriors routed the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals 2017. When asked of his assessment of the trouncing, LeBron James muttered two letters - K.D. for Kevin Durant. Durant, no doubt, is one of the key reasons the Warriors are favored to win, and the most likely the team will. But the question is: Will he stick around for another season, and another?
Winning with the GSW appears to be the intention playing in the mind of Durant and it also looks like he'll stay in California over the long haul, The Washington Post reported, adding the 2014 MVP has professed his love for team that likely will give him his first NBA ring. "I love my teammates. I love the city. I love the organization. I love it here. I don't plan on going anywhere else ... Yeah. I love it here," Durant said.
And the publication said Durant is willing to make some big adjustments, like accepting pay cuts, to stay with Golden State and perhaps win more championships. The plan is not only to finish the ongoing Finals series and emerge the winner. The same report suggested Durant is looking to improve on his legacy by earning as many championship rings as possible and he seems convinced the scenario has a better chance of happening with the GSW.
Durant is so forward-looking that he might agree to cut his potential maximum salary by up to $4 million so the Warriors can still maintain a crew with a high chance of appearing on succeeding NBA Finals and winning them, ESPN reported. The setup is far from unique as far as the GSW is concerned. ESPN said Stephen Curry receives around $11 million from Golden State and the sacrifice has allowed the team to pay for a deep bench to support the star player. And the model so far is working as the GSW is now on their third successive NBA Finals with one victorious finish and probably on the way to another triumphant conclusion.
According to ESPN, the GSW will re-sign Durant for a two-year contract with opt-outs clause until 2019 and receive around $32 million starting with the 2017-Season. Then once he becomes eligible for a supermax contract by 2019-20, he'll be rewarded with a five-year job security that is worth $217 million, the report added.
With the flexibility created by Durant's adjustments, the Warriors can then give Curry his own supermax deal of around $205 and at the same time still have room to retain the GSW core players notably Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Of note, the latter two veterans are to become free agents and would likely get tempting offers but according to The Post if the Warriors will want to preserved the strength in numbers that the team enjoys then it's wise to re-sign both Iguodala and Livingston.
Obviously, the benefits for Durant to stick with the Warriors would be immense over the long term. He'll get to earn big and odds will be in his favor to touch the Larry O'Brien Trophy multiple time. And there will be a welcome bonus waiting for Durant, The Hamilton Spectator reported.
In the past years, LeBron James has been winning over Durant but that will change soon. With the latter now in Golden State and will remain so for the next few years, conquering King James now seems more possible as evidenced by Game 1 Thursday night, in which "there was nobody better than Kevin Durant," the report said.