Quite simply, three-time Olympic Gold medalist Kevin Durant is one of the greatest basketball players to grace an NBA floor. Durant so far has played for three NBA franchises and at each stop he has performed like a generational talent. In his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder he won the Most Valuable Player award in 2014. In Golden State he led the Warriors to two NBA titles and collected two Finals Most Valuable Player awards. And now with the Brooklyn Nets, Durant has collected his third Olympic gold medal and become Team USA men’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer.
Durant and Team USA won a close matchup against France in the Tokyo Olympics gold medal game. Durant scored 29 points in an 87-82 victory. Now that Durant’s Olympic chase is officially over, he heads back to the states and shifts his focus towards a different goal, securing his first NBA championship with the Nets.
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Durant First Member of ‘Big 3’ to Ink Long-Term Extension
Durant is set to sign a four-year $198 million contract extension to remain with the Nets, Durant’s longtime manager Rich Kleiman confirmed to Boardroom. If all goes to plan, Durant’s new contract will keep him in a Nets uniform at least until he is at least 37 years old. For reference Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James turns 37 this December.
Durant’s move to the Nets from the Warriors came as a bit of a surprise because KD left Golden State, after the team had gone to three consecutive NBA Finals with him. Many people were not sure what the 2014 NBA Most Valuable player would do with his Nets contract having a player option in 2022, Especially after an injury-filled season that resulted in an early playoff exit. Nets fans can now at least temporarily breathe a sigh of relief.
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Nets Retaining ‘Big 3’ Will Come at Hefty Cost
The Nets have locked in at least one of the members of their All-Star trio for the long-term and now their focus shifts to inking James Harden and Kyrie Irving to long-term deals as well. While they have not played a ton of games together because of injuries, Irving, Durant and Harden proved in the first round of the playoffs that when they are all at full strength, they are a tough team to beat. The Nets cruised to a five-game victory over Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.
Nets General manager Sean Marks has made it clear that he wants to ink all three of the Nets All-Stars long-term and so far, he has achieved 1/3 of his goal. Keeping all three of the Nets stars together seems like a no-brainer but it will also come at a hefty price. According to Billy Reinhardt of NetsDaily, for the Nets to retain Harden, KD, and Kyrie long term it will cost them a ticket price of $540 million.
Whether you love or hate Durant one thing that you cannot deny is that he earned that contract extension from the Nets. Coming back as strong as he did off of a career-threatening Achilles injury and putting the team on his back in a herculean playoff effort justifies he is worth every penny that the Nets spent.