Kevin Durant reportedly will not be opting in.
The Warriors superstar has declined his $31.5 million player option for next season and will become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has declined his $31.5M player option and will become an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell ESPN. Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman are in New York, evaluating free agency options. So far, process has stayed private.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2019
It was widely expected that KD would go this route, but this still is news nonetheless.
The Warriors are the only team that can give the two-time NBA Finals MVP a five-year contract worth about $221 million.
Every other franchise can offer a maximum of about $164 million over four seasons.
As Anthony Slater of The Athletic wrote on Wednesday morning:
Durant, sources insist, has yet to make a final decision on where he’ll play next season.
On Tuesday, Woj made some remarks that can be viewed as positive from a Golden State perspective.
"If there were a breakdown in trust, you would imagine that Kevin Durant's camp and the Warriors would not be in communication. And they have been in communication," he said. "They have talked.
"Their ability to be able to talk through whatever potential issues there are in trying to go forward, I think those lines of communication are open. Does he stay? I think that conversation has yet to really happen between Durant, Rich Kleiman, Bob Myers and the organization.
"I do think there's gonna be a point here where they do talk before free agency starts. But there's no indication that they have been shunned by KD. I don't believe that's the case."
Durant ruptured his right Achilles during Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors and it's possible that he misses the entire 2019-20 season.
[RELATED: Iguodala predicts KD re-signs with Warriors]
"He's not going on the road anywhere in the NBA again where they are holding up cupcake signs and cupcake t-shirts," Woj said. "Noone's ever calling Kevin Durant a cupcake again.
"That does change the narrative and the story for KD in Golden State. Now, is that enough to get him to stay there? We don't know that yet. But they have a better case to make post injury than they did pre injury."