For the second consecutive year, the Warriors will have locked up one of their star players with a max contract. Kevin Durant and the Warriors are expected to agree to a so-called “one-plus one” deal, which would pay him up to around $30 million for the 2018-19 season and a player option worth up to about $31 million for the 2019-20 season, league sources told Bay Area News Group. .
Durant had stressed repeatedly throughout the 2017-18 season he planed to re-sign with the Warriors for fairly obvious reasons. He eventually collected an NBA championship and Finals MVP award in consecutive years since leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors as a free agent in the 2016 offseason. The only uncertainty: how many years would Durant commit to the Warriors and for how much?
A year after sacrificing nearly $10 million in salary to help the Warriors fill out their roster, Durant will help the Warriors save in another way. Durant will accept a max deal that will pay him $30 million for the 2018-19 season, but that is about $5 million less than if he had agreed to a two-year guaranteed deal that would have paid him about $35 million for the 2018-19 season. Therefore, the Warriors will save about $20 million in luxury taxes.
Durant had kept it open ended on what terms he would want in his latest contract. Durant wanted to maximize his monetary value after his pay cut last year helped the Warriors re-sign veterans Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, while also adding Nick Young at the mid-level exception ($5.2 million). This year, the Warriors only have a taxpayer mid-level exception (up to $5.3 million) and veteran’s minimum deals to sign players.
Regardless, the Warriors maintained that Durant would dictate the terms of his next deal. So much that Warriors GM Bob Myers said last month he would give Durant “whatever he wants.” Myers added, “sometimes you don’t negotiate.”
“I’d love to have him for 10 years. But, Kevin Durant, look at what he did last year for us. He did us a great service,” Myers said in mid-June.
Other notable news:
■Chris Paul announced on Twitter that he has “Unfinished Business” in Houston, which took Golden State to seven games in the Western Conference finals. ESPN reported it is a four-year deal that will be worth $160 million.
■Aron Baynes is reportedly staying with the Celtics, agreeing to a two-year, $11-million deal.
■Trevor Ariza is reportedly moving to the Suns on a one-year, $15 million contract.
■Paul George is reportedly staying with the Thunder. A source spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal’s terms have not been announced.