NBA rumors: Kevin Durant opting in to Warriors contract ‘last resort'


Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday at 4 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Last summer, Kevin Durant signed a two-year contract worth $61.5 million with the Warriors.

The second season -- 2019-20 -- is a player option at $31.5 million. And Durant has until June 29 to make a decision.

Is it possible that KD, who most likely sustained a torn right Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors on Monday night, will elect to pick up that option and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020?

"I think opting in is the last resort," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday morning on Get Up. "That's really if [he] couldn't find any other team to commit to [him] on a contract ... I still think there's going to be a market for Kevin Durant to get a long-term -- whether it's max or near-max contract."

It's safe to assume that practically every NBA team this summer still would give the reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP a four-year max contract worth about $164 million. The Warriors, though, are the only team that can give KD the five-year max worth an estimated $221 million.

"I'd be shocked if the Warriors were not willing to still go long term with Kevin Durant on a deal," Woj said.

Absolutely. Even if KD doesn't play a single game next season, Warriors owner Joe Lacob gladly would pay him just over $38 million in 2019-20 if it means the 10-time All-Star signs a multiyear contract to stay in the Bay.

The one thing, however, that could make the Warriors pause is if KD opts out and then requests a two-year contract with a player option in 2020-21. In that scenario, he could leave next summer, with Game 5 in Toronto having been his last game in a Warriors uniform.

Ultimately, it all comes down to what Durant -- who will turn 32 years old just before the 2020-21 season begins -- wants to do. And there's no way of knowing how his significant injury will impact his thought process.

[RELATEDReport: KD wasn't close to 100 percent in Game 5 of Finals]

He might want to rehab for a year, see where he's at physically and mentally, and then come to a conclusion regarding a long-term contract.

He might want to bet on himself and maintain flexibility.

But opting in still would be a shocker.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Contact Us