But, if nothing else, he has a $31.5 million player option for next season on his Warriors contract.
Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:
By opting in, Durant would be committing to spending next season in Golden State then becoming a free agent in 2020.
But if he opted out and requested new a one-year, max-salary contract (projected to be worth about $38 million) from the Warriors, would they really say no? He’d still spend next season in Golden State then become a free agent in 2020. He’d just get paid more next season.
Heck, I bet he could get the Warriors to add a max-salary player-option season for 2021 (projected to be worth about $41 million). That’d give him even more protection. If they care about him as much as they say they do – I think they do – they almost have to pay up.
Of course, Durant might not want to spend next season in Golden State then become a free agent in 2020. He could pursue longer deals with the Warriors or other teams, and everyone will line up to max him out. He’s that talented. Though his injury is extremely concerning, opportunities to acquire players of his stature come around only so often.
So, still expect Durant to opt out. Even if he deems his best option to be spending next season in Golden State then becoming a free agent in 2020, there’s a better way to do it than opting in.