The usually formidable Golden State Warriors stumbled their way to the end of the regular season, and Kevin Durant thinks that the team's recent slate of injuries had a big effect on them psychologically. The Spurs (47-35) are the seventh seed in the Western Conference and will face the second-seeded Warriors (58-24) in Game 1 on Saturday, April 14 at 2 p.m. CT in Oakland, Calif.
After winning his first championship, Durant turned down a $27.7 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent with the intention of re-signing with the Warriors for $10 million less.
The All-Star has chose to opt-out of his current contract of $26 million to restructure a new deal with the Warriors, league sources told ESPN.
By making less money than a player of his level, Durant enabled the Warriors to keep players like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston on their roster. "There are people who will say, 'I would rather play the Warriors right now in the first round than the Thunder or the Jazz.' Right now". The nine-time All-Star made much less (around $9 million annually) than he could have had he signed a max contract.
Durant told The Athletic in March that the contract was something that worked with him at the time.
Whatever Durant decides to do, it nearly certainly will result in him playing in the Bay Area next season, unless. "That's a bridge too far for me, but anyway..."
Durant, 29, has averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per contest in 68 games this season.
Granted, the various leg injuries to Stephen Curry, who missed 31 games this season and is expected to sit out the first round of the playoffs as well, would be enough to trip up any team, even one as mighty as the Dubs.