Kevin Durant plans to sign a maximum four-year, $ 198 million contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets sometime after he becomes eligible on Saturday, his business manager and 35 Ventures and Boardroom co-founder Rich Kleiman told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Durant is expected to decline his 2022-23 player option and extend his $ 42 million salary for the 2021-22 season.
Durant, who will play for a third gold medal with Team USA in Tokyo against France on Friday night, looked spectacular on his return to the court this season. He missed his first season in Brooklyn while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon he sustained in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals in Toronto while still playing for the Golden State Warriors.
Durant ended up playing just 35 regular season games for Brooklyn last season due to a combination of COVID-19 absences and a hamstring injury, but he averaged 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists while making his 11th appearance in the All-Star Game.
Durant then averaged 34.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 12 playoff games for the Nets, including possibly the best performance of his legendary career: a triple-double of 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists in 48 minutes of a win. 114-108 over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. He then played all 53 minutes of Brooklyn’s loss in overtime in Game 7, scoring another 48 points, including a game-tying shot in the final second of regulation time to force the overtime session.
Currently, the Nets are projected to spend $ 296 million next season on payroll and luxury taxes, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That’s the second-largest number in NBA history, behind only next season’s Warriors, as they attempt to win the franchise’s first NBA championship with Durant, Kyrie irving Y James harden. Irving joined Durant in Brooklyn as a free agent two years ago, while the Nets executed a trade with the Houston Rockets to land Harden in January.
Both Irving and Harden are eligible to sign contract extensions with Brooklyn this offseason.