( 4UMF NEWS ) Kevin Durant Announces He Will Join The Warriors:
Kevin Durant has agreed to sign with the Golden State Warriors, he announced Monday.
The contract will be a 2-year, $54 million, with player option for second year, according to a person familiar with the deal. Contract will allow Durant to maximize the projected salary cap of $107 million next year. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because contracts can’t be signed until the moratorium ends on July 7.
Durant, the former MVP and seven-time All-Star during his first nine seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, took a deliberate approach to his free agency. He and his representatives from Roc Nation Sports set a six-team schedule with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and the Thunder in the Hamptons from Friday through Sunday. Every team had its reasons to be at least mildly hopeful, but none more so than Oklahoma City. From the massive edge they had on the financial front, to the nine years of shared history, to the moves they made leading into the Durant sweepstakes, the Thunder did a masterful job of putting themselves in prime position to keep him.
While the Thunder made a strong push, he decided to join arguably the best team in the league for the past couple of seasons because he hopes it’s his best opportunity to win a title.
The chatter about Durant heading to the Warriors was there for most of the season, and it was a testament to the level of Durant’s talent more than anything. Even as Golden State made its historic run toward an unprecedented 73-9 record, the prospect of adding Durant as a way of getting even better enticed them from the start.
From Durant’s side, the widely held belief was that their style of play was the greatest of the many attractions. With second-year coach Steve Kerr pulling the offensive strings, back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry running the show and All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the wings, Durant saw a chance to potentially dominate the league. Even if it meant his individual status on the league’s unofficial totem pole of superstars may take a hit.
The Warriors’ loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals made it seem all the more likely that Durant could come. Now, with Curry having struggled so mightily at the end, they needed someone like Durant to help them get back to the league’s mountaintop.
When the Thunder said goodbye to Scott Brooks and hello to Billy Donovan as head coach in April of 2015, it was seen by some as a risky, if not downright dumb move. Yet while Brooks and Durant had worked well together and had become very close during their eight years in Seattle and Oklahoma City, it spoke volumes in the past few weeks that Brooks’ new team/Durant’s hometown team, the Washington Wizards, were never even granted a meeting with him.
Behind closed doors, the Thunder had indicated all along that they wouldn’t have made the change if they thought Brooks’ presence would ultimately prove to be an X-factor. What’s more, Durant flourished under Donovan (28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, five assists, 1.2 blocks, and one steal per game) while establishing a strong rapport with the former Florida coach during their debut season together.
The roster moves that were made by Thunder general manager Sam Presti – among them the recent Serge Ibaka trade with Orlando that netted them Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis – helped their cause as well. And Durant, as much as anyone else, knew that the Thunder’s failings these past few years had as much to do with their brutal rash of injuries as it did anything else.