After a dominant performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Playoff Finals, Kevin Durant solidified his legacy at the Golden State Warriors. Scoring 43 points and dubbed “an assassin” by LeBron James, Durant exploded on the offence. Gaining 13 rebounds and seven assists, he single-handedly took down the Cavaliers to gain the team a 3-0 lead in the Finals. Whilst discussions revolve around where LeBron will play next season, Durant’s off-season activity hasn’t been a massive topic of discussion for basketball fans and critics. It’s going to cost a lot of money to keep him in Golden State, but Kevin Durant doesn’t want to leave the Warriors in free agency. If anyone deserves that Max contract, it’s him.
Kevin Durant Doesn’t Want To Leave The Warriors
Before Game 3, Kevin Durant was interviewed by USA Today and shared some information about his plans for the future. It’s been two years since he left Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Warriors, and in that time he’s become an integral part of this historic team. His knowledge of how the league works is better than most, but he says he wants to stay at Golden State.
“Yeah, yeah, I feel as though (I am). Everything, the money and stuff that’s got to, the contract got to (be) worked out, but I plan on being here. I said that earlier this year.”
There are those that believe he will opt out of his contract in the off-season, including ESPN’s Chris Haynes. Taking $10 million less when he signed his current contract last year, it allowed the Warriors to keep hold of Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Watching Durant playing anywhere else would seem odd. Nobody knows for sure, but seeing one of the greatest players leave a team that’s revenue is in excess of $3.1 billion worldwide seems unlikely.
Jumping between Steph Curry and Kevin Durant as the best player at the Warriors isn’t a bad conundrum to ponder. They are both clear candidates for Playoff MVP. Not only that, but they’ve been pivotal in Golden State’s success. If Kevin Durant stays at Golden State, it’d mean another successful year for the Warriors. Stranger things have happened, though, and just because it is expected doesn’t mean it’ll happen.
There’s More Money Out There
Many teams in the NBA are suffering with limited cap space, but teams like the LA Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers have money to spare. Not that Durant is on their radars, but it’s still something to think about. Durant is worth a lot of money, so if he wants more than what he currently earns it’s out there for the taking. A lot of focus has been on rumours of seeing LeBron in Los Angeles. The potential partnership of the two uniting there would be remarkable.
Regardless of a better contract and more money, the likelihood of Durant leaving the Warriors is slim. He’s a phenomenal shooter for a guy of his height. As part of the Hampton Five, another year with Golden State would mean a lot to the fans. If they beat the Cavaliers, another championship is almost guaranteed. The only current threat at this point is the Boston Celtics. When Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward return after injury they’ll be the most interesting prospect to dethrone the Warriors next season.
Focusing on Game 4
Speculation on KD’s next move will be more active after the outcome of Game 4. It’s unlikely the Cavaliers are going to come back from a three-game deficit. Focusing on the future will be in the back off his mind, but winning is everything to him. After such a majestic performance, lifting the trophy after one more victory will further cement his intentions to stay where he is. Time will tell what decisions he’ll make. The Playoffs are still in full swing, and the talk will have to hold for a little bit longer.
What is clear is Kevin Durant doesn’t want to go anywhere next season. Despite potentially moving to a new arena, and paying in excess of $130 million on the whole roster, there will be room to manoeuvre something that works out for him, and the chances of owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob waving goodbye to KD are almost zero to none.
Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images