Joe Lacob won’t assume Kevin Durant will come back to Warriors
Despite being vocal about his desire to remain with the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant will have some negotiating to do this summer after turning down his player-option for the 2018-19 season.
Durant expressed wanting to continue with the organization and working toward a long-term agreement, but owner Joe Lacob won’t take his word for granted.
“My understanding is he’s extremely happy, from both Kevin and his manager. So we have full expectation that he’ll be back,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “Of course, you know how I feel about this for all these players — they’ve earned the right to be free agents and we can’t assume anything. It’s our job to convince them to want to be with us.”
Durant is largely expected to re-sign with the Warriors this summer, especially after giving the team a huge discount, which allowed Golden State to sign veterans Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala — keeping their core intact.
Yet Golden State is elbows-deep into the luxury tax and could be in it even more after Durant signs a long-term deal, this time expecting financial security for his troubles.
Durant will be the first of three remaining All-Stars to examine negotiations, with Klay Thompson expected to hit free agency in 2019 and Draymond Green in 2020.
While the rising salary cap will help, the introduction of supermax salaries has definitely made it tougher to keep several max-level players in one team, forcing Golden State to stagger them between each offseason and hoping their players can cooperate for the sake of winning more hardware.