It had been speculated for some time now, but a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski indicates that Golden State Warriors superstar forward Kevin Durant will become an unrestricted free agent in 2019 after he declines his player option for the 2019-20 season.
Wojnarowski added that Durant and his business manager are privately handling the process in New York.
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
While Durant's option for next season is worth $31.5 million, he is now eligible to sign a five-year, $221 million deal with the Warriors. Should he sign elsewhere, Durant could sign a max deal worth $164 million over four years.
In the regular season, Durant appeared in 78 games, averaging 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and a career-high 5.9 assists per game. He was named an All-Star for the 10th time in his career and earned All-NBA Second Team honours.
Durant put forth one of the more impressive postseasons in NBA history, averaging 32.3 points (on 51.4% shooting), but suffered a calf injury in the Western Conference Semifinals that would sideline him for nine games. 12 minutes into his return, Durant ruptured his Achilles tendon, an injury that will likely hold him out of the 2019-20 NBA season.
While the rehab process will likely impact Durant's free agency decision, teams are still expected to offer him a max deal.
Free agency begins July 1.