OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that Kevin Durant has declined to opt in for the second year of his contract with Golden State and will become an unrestricted free agent.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because Durant’s choice – which was expected – had not been formally announced. He was due to make more than $27.7 million.
Durant has said he plans to re-sign with the team he led to a championship this month, his first title. He would now have to reach a new deal after free agency begins Saturday.
By going this route, the NBA Finals MVP provides the franchise with financial flexibility to try to bring back other key free agents, such as Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Durant had a deadline of Thursday to make his decision.
He is expected to gain a 20 percent raise over the $26.5 million he made last season and would earn about $31.8 million.