BOSTON (CBS) — Brace yourselves, NBA fans. Kevin Durant will be a free agent on June 30.
Durant reportedly declined his $31.5 million player option with the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, which makes the star forward free to sign with whichever team he wants when free agency opens Sunday evening. Durant and his business manager are currently in New York evaluating his free agent options, via Woj.
The 30-year-old ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and is expected to miss most — if not all — of next season, so there was some speculation that Durant would pick up his option. But the injury has not scared away many potential suitors this summer, with a handful of teams expected to throw a max deal Durant’s way. The Brooklyn Nets (who would like to pair Durant with Kyrie Irving) and New York Knicks are the two teams that have been mentioned the most in the Durant sweepstakes, though the Knicks don’t seem like a realistic option anymore. Both teams are desperate enough for a stud like Durant — who averaged 26 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last season — that they’d be willing to pay him four years worth of salary for three years of play.
But even though there have been rumblings that Durant is miffed with the Warriors and the team’s medical staff over his injury, Golden State can still offer Durant the most money — a five-year, $221 million max contract. Golden State is about to move into their new, privately funded stadium, so they have plenty of money to burn to keep Durant around.
NBA free agency tips off Sunday night at 6 p.m.