After quietly signing a five year, $86 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2010, Kevin Durant's newest free agency was anything but private. The former Longhorn and Thunder star had the most dramatic free agency period since LeBron James left the Cavaliers in 2010.
In a year where every NBA talent seems to be breaking the bank, the former Longhorn is the brightest and newest star to get paid, inking a 2-year, $54 million dollar deal with the Warriors. His second year is a player option, meaning Durant can choose to become an unrestricted free agent after his first season in Golden State. Durant had also held meetings with the Celtics, the Clippers, the Spurs, the Heat, and of course, the Thunder, the team he built from the ground up.
Durant emphasized that he desired to sign with a team who could win an NBA championship. The 27-year old forward is considered one of the NBA's best players, and in the prime of his career, Durant is tired of falling just short of a ring. He lead his Thunder squad to NBA finals in 2012, before falling to Lebron James' Heat. This year, the Thunder lost a 3-1 series lead to the Warriors in the Eastern Conference finals.
Now, Durant will be joining Steph Curry, Clay Thompson, and Draymond Green on a loaded roster that has made back to back NBA finals appearances. The Warriors beat the Cavaliers in 2015, but fell short in a game seven to the Cavs this year. The Warriors had the best regular season in history this season, posting a 73-9 record. If Durant gels well with the rest of the roster next year, the Warriors could indisputably become the best team of all time.
In a post on the Players' Tribune titled "My Next Chapter", Durant expressed the challenge of his decision. "It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career," Durant wrote in part of the brief post.
In his one season at Texas, Durant averaged 25.8 points per game before the Longhorns lost to USC in the second round of the NCAA tournament. However, Durant went second in the NBA draft that year.
Durant joins fellow former Longhorn D.J. Augustin in signing a massive NBA contract. Augustin, a role player point guard, penned a four year, $29 million deal with the Magic.