Declines player option, will re-sign with Warriors

Durant will decline his player option for next season but will re-sign with the team on another one-year deal at less than maximum value, ESPN reported Monday. Already indicating that he wants to be with Golden State long term, Durant isn’t in danger of heading elsewhere and should continue to be considered a key player in heading the Warriors championship defense during the upcoming campaign.

Bird rights, named after National Basketball Association legend Larry Bird, allow a team to exceed the league’s salary cap without penalty in order to re-sign their own free agents up to a league maximum deal.

By Durant taking about $4 million less than his max next year and waiting to get his long-term extension for at least another season, the Warriors would be able to use their Bird rights on an Iguodala deal that is far more comparable to what he’d see on the open market. Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala all have their contracts expire on July 1, among others. After four years of making less than perhaps his performances deserve, the point guard will sign one of the NBA’s new Designated Player Veteran Contracts.

Being that Iguodala fits this criteria, the Warriors will be expected to offer a deal that could be worth close to $20 million per year.

Clark went undrafted out of Belmont and had limited opportunities with the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets along with a lot of time in the D-League before latching on with Golden State last season.