Kevin Durant will reportedly opt out of his player option for next season, but plans on re-signing with the Warriors on a team-friendly deal once free agency begins on July 1, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
As Haynes reports, Durant, by signing for $4 million less than the max, allows the Warriors to retain their Bird rights to Andre Iguodala and others by not having to create extra cap room, making it more likely that the Warriors can sign those players and keep their core group intact. The most recent report about Iguodala’s free agency status is that the 2015 NBA Finals MVP will consider other options in free agency because of the opportunity he’ll likely have to command more money on the free agent market.
Durant taking less helps the Warriors in retaining Bird rights on Iguodala, which will allow them to go over the cap to sign him, meaning they can make a better offer that’s closer to what he would get from other teams. By signing a 1-and-1 deal again with the Warriors, Durant can opt out again next year and go after a bigger deal with Golden State (or somewhere else) after they’ve locked up Steph Curry, Iguodala, and the rest.