Oklahoma City Thunder superstar and the most coveted NBA free agent Kevin Durant put an end to all speculation by confirming Monday that he is joining the Golden State Warriors.
“I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors,” Durant wrote in a 354-word essay published by the Players’ Tribune Monday. The decision came after what he called “ by far the most challenging few weeks in my professional life.”
“The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction,” he said.
His contract is for $54 million over two years and includes a player option, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press. The move will become official as early as Thursday, when free agents can sign their new contracts.
Golden State reportedly applied a full-court press to land Durant. On Friday, the Warriors sent owner Joe Lacob, general manager Bob Myers, coach of the year Steve Kerr, and star players Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to meet with the 6-foot-9 2014 MVP.
The Warriors now have Durant in addition to Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green — creating a super-team. The 2015 champions, who lost the 2016 title to the Cleveland Cavaliers, now have four All-Stars in the primes of their careers.
Durant, who has been with Oklahoma City for nine years, said: “I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me. It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man.”
“I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team,” he added.
“Kevin made an indelible mark on the Thunder organization and the state of Oklahoma as a founding father of this franchise,” Oklahoma City General Manager Sam Presti said.
“While clearly disappointing that he has chosen to move on, the core values that he helped establish only lead to us thanking him for the many tangible and intangible ways that he helped our program,” Presti maintained.
In order to make way for their new All-Star recruit, the Warriors have agreed to trade the Australian centre Andrew Bogut to the Dallas Mavericks.