KEVIN DURANT TURNS DOWN WARRIOR’S $31M EXTENSION TO EXPLORE FREE AGENCY

*It should come as no surprise that Kevin Durant is telling the Golden State Warriors to kiss where the sun don’t shine. In other words, he’s GONE.

Oh yeah, let the bidding begin. After declining his $31 million option from the Warriors on Wednesday, the Durantula is now an unrestricted free agent, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

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The money is on him to land in NYC. Yep, that’s a pretty safe bet, but WHICH team?! The Knicks or the Nets?  The NBA superstar has spent time in the city since undergoing surgery on June 12 to repair his ruptured Achilles tendon. Again, ESPN is reporting that he’s still there along with his brother Tony and business manager Rich Kleiman mulling his free-agency future.

Speaking of his brother, Tony posted a pic on Instagram on Tuesday of him and Kevin using a scooter to get around the streets of New York City.

t seems the battle for Durant’s services has begun in earnest with the Knicks letting Durant know they want him badly. Despite his recent Achilles injury, the Knicks are planning to offer him the max of four years and $164 million. On the other hand, the Nets are said to to have the inside track to land Kyrie Irving, a close friend of Durant’s, so that could be a bargaining chip for them.

Yes, we know we said he’s gone from the Warriors after refusing their player option of $31 million, but they, along with the Los Angeles Clippers also believed to be in the mix for the 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP, who will turn 31 in September and is likely to miss all of next season (because of the Achilles injury). He could be 32 by the time he’s ready to return.

The bottom line is that the Warriors can offer Durant more than the other three teams: a five-year, $221 million deal. Hmm, that number might make him think hard about rejoing the Warriors.

Keep this in mind. Back May, Kleiman said his client was undecided on his future, and that was before the Achilles injury and the Warriors losing to the Raptors in the finals without Durant.

In other words, anything can happen. Must be nice being in the driver’s seat. 

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