This report solidifies the four favorites for Kevin Durant — something that was conventional wisdom around the league, but in free agency wild swings can happen so other doors were never closed.
Kevin Durant is going to “engage” with four teams in free agency: The Warriors, Knicks, Nets, and Clippers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Parsing the language here, but “engage” is different from “have a meeting with.” Engage can take a lot of forms, which Wojnarowski explains in his story. Bottom line, this is a less formal process than most top free agents go through (including Durant himself in 2016 when he ultimately chose the Warriors).
There’s expected to be some combination of face-to-face meetings and communications by other means with Durant and his business manager, Rich Kleiman, front-office sources told ESPN.
Durant’s decision-making process could extend well into next week, league sources told ESPN.
Durant’s decision this time is going to be in part about the rehab from the torn Achilles he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, an injury that could sideline him all of next season. He needs to be with an organization and a training/medical team he can trust in this process, and a place where he is not going to feel pressured to get back on the court too soon.
Durant opted out of the $31.5 million he was owed next season and will sign a new max contract that starts at $38.2 million. The Warriors can offer five years and with larger raises $221 million. Every other team can offer four years, $164 million. With how much Durant makes off the court in shoe deals and endorsements that salary difference is not going to have much influence with him.
What will matter to him is fit, legacy, and the things he considers most important. We know he’s going to try and find that in one of four places.