Why Kevin Durant’s Stance On His Upcoming Contract Will Break Up The Warriors

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

For two years now, Kevin Durant has taken massive pay cuts to keep the Warriors together.

Those days appear to be over.

In 2017, he signed a two-year contract worth $25 million in 2017-18 and $26.25 million a season later, when he could’ve signed a four-year contract starting at $34.7 million this season.

He doesn’t foresee his taking another $10 million off when he opts out of his current deal this summer to re-sign with the team.

“Ten million? Would that be smart?” Durant asked on “Warriors Plus/Minus.” “I thought that at that time it was a good deal. But I can’t — that’s not setting a good precedent for me.

“Now they’re gonna start taking advantage of me. I know this a business, too, so I got business to handle as well.”

Under the collective bargaining agreement, Durant can sign a four-year, $158 million max contract this summer. Or he can take another two-year deal with an option, then in 2019 sign a five-year deal worth $219 million.

Stephen Curry is in the first year of a five-year, $201 million deal.

Klay Thompson will be up for a new contract in a year. Draymond Green will be up for one in two.

Unless these guys start taking unprecedented pay cuts, the Warriors could be paying the dreaded repeater tax by 2019-20.

If the franchise doesn’t want to pay the luxury tax’s violently drunk uncle, a truly ungodly rate, they’ll have to jettison one or even two of their four stars.