Despite winning two championships and being named back-to-back Finals MVP, it was assumed that Kevin Durant would opt out of his contract with the Warriors and become the NBA's most sought after free agent this summer. As a result, league insiders believed that Golden State had conceded to this and had given up on courting KD. But, it's now being reported that was far from the truth.
According to The Athletic's Frank Isola, the Warriors wanted to offer Durant a long-term contract with "the understanding that if he wanted to leave at any point during his contract the team would grant him that wish." If Durant would have accepted this deal, he would have been in an unpreceded position to control his future for the duration of the contract. Yet, to do this, Durant would either have to fully trust the front office, or the Warriors would have to iron out minor details to keep it within the NBA guidelines.
As it stands, the NBA's collective bargaining agreement only allows players to have one option year. While the CBA does permit players to negotiate a buyout at any time, these deals are not regulated and have to be worked out through the two parties. If the Warriors were able to change this, it would've led to a monumental shift in roster creation similar to the Rose Rule. But, this couldn't officially hit the docket until at least 2023 when both the NBA and the Player Association are eligible to opt out.
Trying to figure out the logistics of this deal could be obsolete. Durant is believed to have suffered an Achilles injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Although this is serious for any athlete, at his age and height many specialists think this is a career-shortening injury. This makes the Warriors' potentially ground-breaking deal a high-risk bet. Yet even if they do extend the offer, Durant might be hesitant to take it. Many NBA insiders believe that it was KD's trust in the Warriors' medical staff/front office that led him to play after missing a month of basketball. As this deal would likely be based on the Warriors' word, it's unclear if he'll trust the team again, after one of the last steps he took as a Warrior likely cost him an entire season.