Kevin Durant received some criticism earlier this summer when he took a discount in re-signing with the Golden State Warriors. Durant’s decision did not technically save the team any cap space but it did save the owners money through the luxury tax.
Durant spoke about that decision to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, explaining his reasoning and his inspiration:
They only (criticized) it because it’s the Warriors and it’s me and they love to hate anything we do right now. A lot of players have (taken pay-cuts). It wasn’t that I wanted the praise. I’ve learned from Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki and how it has helped them over the years and I thought, if they did it, why can’t I? Why shouldn’t I sacrifice? People wanted the money to break us up and I didn’t want that to happen.
Duncan and Nowitzki are two classic cases of this.
The former took pay cuts that allowed the Spurs to build championship contenders year after year. Nowitzki, on the other hand, took pay cuts that did not have much effect as the Mavs were never able to capitalize.
At the end of the day, it’s Kevin Durant’s money and he can choose what he wants to do with it. As long as he’s happy with the decision, there’s not much point in criticizing him for it.