Though Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2015 gave KD the best chances of winning that elusive first title, he knew his decision would also force him to make sacrifices.
Having to defer to franchise centerpiece and fellow premier offensive talent Stephen Curry came easily to Durant but the financial quandary they are in may be the bigger problem. Durant took a nearly $10M pay cut when he inked his first extension with Golden State but he doesn’t see it happening again.
“Money has never been the sole reason why I made any decision,” Durant told Tim Kawakami and Marcus Thompson on an episode of their Warriors Plus/Minus podcast. “I just try to make a good basketball decision. And I’m sure, hopefully, the organization does right by me, as well. That stuff always has to align. But, for the most part, I try just to let my play do the talking and handle all that stuff. And we’ll talk about the details later.”
Durant continued, “…I thought that, at that time, it was a good deal. But that’s not setting a good precedent for me if I’m like, ‘Man, I’m taking 10.’ Now, they’re going to start taking advantage of me. You know what I’m saying? I know it’s a business, too. So, I’ve got a business to handle as well.”
“We’ll see what happens, but I don’t see myself taking that big of a cut.”
Though the Warriors have made the NBA Finals three consecutive seasons, their dynasty has shown signs of vulnerability this season and Kevin Durant’s looming contract situation could muddy that even further.
Durant earned $25 million this season when the max salary he could’ve signed for at the time of his extension was $34,682,550. Though this hefty pay cut certainly worked in favor of the team being able to retain vets Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, it’s clear Durant has no intention of doing so again.
With Durant playing on a bargain deal during a large part of his prime, it’s fair for him to seek the most he can command on the market. Though he’s already confirmed he will be re-signing with Golden State, don’t expect Durant to do the team as big a favor this time around meaning the Warriors could have some very difficult decisions to make in coming years.