In an exclusive published by The Atlantic this week, Kevin Durant elaborates on his decision to take a pay-cut this summer. In doing so, the Warriors star likened his decision to leave money on the table for Golden State to use in free agency, to moves that have in the past been made by guys like Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki. In the same breath, Durant addressed whatever criticism fans may have about the way he operates, saying, "It's my money. It's my decision. I can do what the hell I want with it."
In early July Durant surprised many when he chose not to pursue a max deal that could have rewarded him up to $34.5 million. The general consensus among experts was that he'd pull in a number in the ballpark of $31.8 million, or, a 20% increase from the $26.5 million he made in 2016-17. Instead, Durant got up with his business partner, Rich Kleiman, and discussed the possibility of bringing the Warriors front office a number that was if anything, lower than what he made this past season. "I'm a grown man in this league and I'm at the point of my life and career where I'm able to dictate what I want to do with my future," he told The Atlantic, while giving insight into his thought process heading into talks.
What Durant and Kleiman came up with was a two-year deal worth $53 million, which will promise him $25 million in the first year of the deal. For Durant, the intention at this point in his career is to continue on an NBA Finals hot streak with Golden State, and keeping Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have thus far been key contributors to the team's winning formula. "Well, I'm a smart guy and I want to keep this thing going and looking at Andre and Shaun and Steph, they all should make the most money that they can make and get what they deserve. Because they were all underpaid and I knew at some point they'd want to get what they deserve," says Durant.