OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant’s decision in July to sign another contract that allows him to leave the Warriors after one more season generated a stir of anxiety within the fan base, and he said nothing Monday to calm anyone’s nerves.
Ultimately, Durant said, the direction he chose was about self-belief and maximum flexibility.
“It was one of those things where you’re just confident in your skills, and you just kind of want to take it year by year,” he said at Warriors Media Day. “To keep my options open, it was the best thing for me.
“I could have easily signed a long-term [contract], but I just wanted to take it season-by-season and see where it takes me.”
Insofar as Durant is expected to opt out next summer, as he has in the previous two summers, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob acknowledged the team would have to “re-recruit” Durant throughout the season and again during free agency.
General manager Bob Myers, a former agent, reiterated that Monday.
“For any player -- and having had that history as an agent -- what players want, in my experience, is they want to get paid fairly," Myers said. "They want to win, and they want to like going to work, just like all of us. We want to be successful, make fair money and have fun. That’s our job, to create an environment for our players. And I think we do a pretty good job of that.”
Durant will be eligible next July to sign a super max deal worth $220 million with the Warriors, who will have his Bird rights.
“I hope Kevin’s here,” Myers said. “I hope he plays until he’s 50. He’s fantastic, obviously what he’s done for us, and what I hope he continues to do goes without saying.”
Durant clearly wants to keep his mind on the upcoming season, the only one he knows for certain will be spent with the Warriors.
“This whole year is going to be a fun, exciting year for us all, and I’m looking forward to just focusing on that,” he said. “We’ll see what happens after the year.
“If you take it a day at a time, just stay in the present as much as you can, that’s what I try to do.”