Kevin Durant’s summer got a lot more interesting when he suffered what is believed to be a torn Achilles during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and the injury could impact the amount of money teams are willing to invest in him. However, he may not be in nearly as much contract trouble as some people believe.
Prior to the injury, it was a foregone conclusion that Durant would opt out of the final year of his deal with the Golden State Warriors. There has now been speculation that he could stick with the contract and make $31 million next season while sitting out most — if not all — of the year, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski called that a “last resort” on Wednesday.
“I think opting in is the last resort.”
—@wojespn on what he’s hearing about Kevin Durant’s decision next season pic.twitter.com/7u8mZH62h3
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) June 12, 2019
“That’s really only if you couldn’t find any other team to commit to you on a contract,” Wojnarowski said. “If he opts out of the contract and even if he did a short deal with another team, a two-year deal, that starts at $38 million. I still think there’s going to be a market for Kevin Durant to get a — whether it’s a max or near max — contract.”
Wojnarowski added that he would be “shocked” if the Warriors were not still willing to sign Durant to a long-term extension, which makes opting into the final year of his current deal even less likely.
There are obvious concerns about Durant never being the same again, but teams are going to be willing to take the risk. He’s one of the best players in NBA history, and he’ll be 32 at the start of the 2020-21 season. Given the way the Warriors appear to have mishandled his injury situation, they may even feel the need to make it up to Durant by offering him a max extension. Durant’s career may never be the same if he did, indeed, tear his Achilles, but his earnings should be.
Related slideshow: The 2019 NBA Finals (Provided by imagn)
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