Kevin Durant: Making the case for him to stay with Golden State

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 08: Kevin Durant
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 08: Kevin Durant /

Kevin Durant has thrived with Golden State and helped them win two rings. The Warriors offer him the best opportunity in both the sports and business worlds.

When you’re like Kevin Durant — one of the best players in the NBA — you can go one of two routes financially – either command a supermax contract (a la Stephen Curry, James Harden), or sign a one plus one contract like LeBron James.

The supermax contract gives the player an assurance of longer term stability (and a yacht load of money).

The one plus one contract maximizes flexibility, since it’s a one-year contract with a player option for the second year. That structure allows the player to test the free agency market at the end of every year.

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When you’re a top-tier player, you’re not worried about finding work.

With the one plus one, if you don’t like your current team, you move on, as LeBron did from Cleveland to the Lakers (note that James has since changed his mindset and recently signed a four-year agreement with LA).

As Kevin Durant enters his third season with the Golden State Warriors, many have speculated about his mindset after the 2018-2019 season.

If the Warriors wind up winning their third championship in a row, will he be motivated to go elsewhere?

The thinking has been that his legacy is at stake, since the Warriors were champions before he joined the team in 2016, that he needs to show he can reach the top of the mountain without these All-Stars (but presumably some other All-Stars).

Over the summer there was a dust-up between KD and CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, where McCollum called KD’s character into question for joining a team that had beaten him (a tired trope, in the opinion of many).

These external opinions would supposedly influence KD’s decision making.

Without actually knowing what Durant is thinking, there are a few key reasons why he may choose to stay with the Warriors.

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1) Durant Doesn’t Care What Others Think – Durant was fully aware of the impending criticism from the haters when he left the Thunder in 2016 to join the Warriors. If anything, 2018 Kevin Durant, assured by his two rings and two Finals MVP trophies, is even more comfortable in his skin. 

2) The Warriors are Durant’s team – Or at least it’s his team as much as it is Curry’s team. Durant sacrificed some of his salary two years in a row to help the Warriors retain key role players. As a side note, he also delivered MVP performances in consecutive NBA Finals. He hasn’t ridden anyone’s coattails; he is the coattail — and he paid for the coat.

3) Durant Sees the Bigger Picture – Kevin Durant can take advantage of something only the Warriors have — proximity and access to Silicon Valley and its network of venture capitalists. Warriors owner Joe Lacob is a venture capitalist, as is minority owner Fred Harman.

In addition, teammate Andre Iguodala has introduced Kevin to the high-flying VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. The opportunity to learn about investing from some of the leaders in Silicon Valley may be worth more than what Durant can earn playing basketball.

As an example, it was recently reported that Kobe Bryant’s $6 million investment in BodyArmor sports drink is now worth $200 million. And Kobe didn’t have to break a sweat to earn that money.

That’s what you call leverage.

Next. Warriors Will Face Tough Decisions Next Summer. dark

So, if you’re another team that can offer Kevin Durant a chance to compete every year for a championship in a team-first environment that will also allow him to grow personally and financially, shoot your best shot.