While Golden State Warriors star and NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant holds a player option for the 2017-18 campaign and teammate Stephen Curry is set to be an unrestricted free agent, they both seemed eager to keep the champions together Wednesday.
“It’s a special team, a special group,” Durant said, per Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. “It’s a business of basketball, obviously, so nothing is for sure, but here, I feel like we can work that out and everybody will have a chance to do this again next year. It’s easier said than done, obviously, but that’s the goal.”
Curry echoed many of those same sentiments, per Haynes.
“It would mean everything [to stay together]. What we’ve built here is truly special. It’s unique, it’s something that you don’t want to see end at all. All the pieces that we have are important to the equation of winning a championship and competing for a championship every single year.”
Haynes explained the Warriors could have as many as 10 players destined for free agency this offseason depending on how things transpire. Possible free agents David West, Ian Clark, Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, James Michael McAdoo, Matt Barnes, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston don’t draw the same headlines as Durant and Curry, but they all played roles in Golden State’s title.
Haynes cited a previous report from himself and Ramona Shelburne noting league sources said Durant is willing to take around $4 million less than a max in 2017-18 and delay a long-term extension, which would allow Golden State to exercise its Bird rights and re-sign Iguodala and Livingston in particular.
As for Curry, Haynes said the two-time MVP is expected to re-sign a super max deal for five years worth $205 million.
From a pure basketball standpoint, there is no need to change things for the Warriors. They just started the postseason 15-0 and finished an NBA Finals Game 4 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers away from becoming the first team in NBA history to go a perfect 16-0 in the playoffs.
The core won an NBA-record 73 games last season, and that was the one year of the last three it failed to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy. What’s more, Curry, Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are all under 30 years old and firmly in the middle of their primes.
If the Warriors remain largely intact, they have the opportunity to develop into the NBA’s next dynasty and be remembered alongside the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s and the 1980s versions of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
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