When Kevin Durant decided to opt out of his contract before the start of the NBA free agency period, he did so not because he wanted another "Summer of KD," but rather to renegotiate a longer term deal at a bit cheaper rate in order to help the Warriors retain other key players.
In the first few days of free agency, the Warriors have done just that, agreeing to deals with Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston, David West, and most recently, Andre Iguodala. It seemed that there was a pretty good chance that Iguodala might leave the Bay Area, but in the end the in order to keep him around.
As it turns out, they were able to do so because Durant is reportedly planning to take even more of a pay cut than everyone expected. Marcus Tompson first reported that KD was thought to be taking even less than the 20 percent raise that was expected.
Chris Haynes of ESPN then got the exact number, reporting that Durant has agreed to a two-year, $53 million deal, with the second year being a player option.
ESPN Sources: Kevin Durant will agree to re-sign with Golden State on a two-year, approximately $53 million deal, league sources tell ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 3, 2017
As Sam Amick of USA Today points out, the max for Durant this year was over $34M, so the 2017 NBA Finals MVP is making a major sacrifice, taking nearly $10 million less than he could have gotten.
Kevin Durant's Warriors contract expected to be $25 million, I’m told, with player option for 2017-18. Max was $34.5 mil. Major sacrifice.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 3, 2017
Interestingly, Amick also notes that if Iguodala left, Durant was prepared to take an even more significant pay cut in order for the Warriors to bring in Rudy Gay.
Side story about Durant: If Andre Iguodala had left, I'm told Durant was going to give even more than this back to make room for Rudy Gay.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 3, 2017
While $25 million is still huge deal, this is still an incredibly selfless act. Even if it will help them win another title, sacrificing 10 million bucks is not an easy thing to do.
I guess KD is nice after all.