Durant reportedly declines Warriors option to become free agent
Created : 26 June 2019
Kevin Durant has reportedly turned down his $31.5 million player option with the Golden State Warriors to become an unrestricted free agent.
According to ESPN, the injured superstar, who ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, is in New York with business manager Rich Kleiman "evaluating free agency options".
Potential destinations will be plentiful for Durant when free agency begins on June 30, with the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets among those apparently aiming to land one of the top players in the NBA.
Durant has been heavily linked to the Nets and has reportedly met twice with fellow free agent Kyrie Irving about joining forces in Brooklyn.
However, Andre Iguodala is convinced Durant will remain with Golden State along with Klay Thompson, who also suffered a serious injury in the NBA Finals.
"I think they'll both be back with the Golden State Warriors," Iguodala said earlier this week.
"We're like brothers. We keep in contact. But regardless of any of that, if both decide to leave, then they would both still be my brother[s]. I'll still keep in contact with them as much as possible. I just wish the best for both of those guys. They come back full strength."
While several teams are likely to construct elaborate pitches for Durant, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN Golden State will simply point to the success of the franchise as their selling point.
"We're not doing any videos and tours of the city. Basically it's a 'we want you back and we hope you decide to come back and see what happens,' but we're at a different place now," Kerr said.
"But any time you're trying to retain your own players, I think the song and dance, the pomp and circumstance is unnecessary and I actually think it's unnecessary even for other players. You just got to do what you got to do."
A Bleacher Report article earlier this week claimed Durant was disgruntled with the way the Warriors handled his injuries in the post-season.
He missed several games with a calf injury suffered in the Western Conference semi-finals, but returned for Game 5 of the Finals against the Toronto Raptors only to leave in the second quarter with a ruptured Achilles.
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