Kevin Durant’s ruptured Achilles meant that his free agency prospects (and earning potential) could take a serious hit. A team would essentially be signing him for the 2020-2021 season and forward, since his 2019-2020 season will be lost to rehabilitation. That’s a tough situation for any team that’s looking to sign a superstar, since it’ll be nearly a year before Durant steps back onto the court.
But the Golden State Warriors may have found a way to make it work. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Warriors are considering a sign-and-trade scenario that could make both them and Durant happy. Windhorst appeared on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Thursday morning to explain.
“One of the things that is being discussed right now is that the Golden State Warriors would offer Kevin Durant a five-year contract, $57 million extra than he could get signing elsewhere, let him rehab and then work with him to be traded. Potentially to New York, potentially to somewhere else. It would be their way to sort of take care of him monetarily after what he just went through and also protect the franchise and get some assets.”
That seems like the best of both worlds. The Warriors could sign him and make sure he gets paid after sacrificing his Achilles to the team’s quest to three-peat, knowing that they’d get some assets back when they trade him. Durant would get the money he’s looking for, and likely an assurance that he’d be traded to a team of his choice.
If this is an option offered to Durant, it looks like a no-brainer. He can’t make as much money with anyone else as he would by signing the five-year max deal with the Warriors, and $57 million is a lot of money to leave on the table. But he’d need to have a lot of faith and trust in the Warriors to do what they promised, which is trade him to a team he wants to play for. But maybe an extra $57 million is enough to buy that kind of trust.
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